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Pittsburgh’s The Mattress Factory: Not Your Average Mattress Factory

Danaë by James Turrell

If you aren’t an art fanatic or a Pittsburgh youth the name “The Mattress Factory” probably makes you think of a pillow top cloud–or the socially awkward act of trying out a mattress in public.

To these afore mentioned people, it often brings to mind an incredible installation museum. The museum is famous for hosting a mix of permanent and temporary installations. As I am a current Pittsburgh youth and art fanatic, the Mattress Factory has become one of my favorite first date locations. Recently, I visited the museum for just that purpose. If you aren’t an art fanatic or a Pittsburgh youth the name “The Mattress Factory” probably makes you think of a pillow top cloud–or the socially awkward act of trying out a mattress in public.

Amongst the permanent collection that he was wooed by are Yayoi Kusama’s “Repetitive Vision Room” and “Infinity Dots Mirrored Room.” The mirrored room pair are both fun and really exciting. The mass of mirrors creates an infinity effect that confuses and dazzles most people, no matter how many times they have visited.

Another personal staple of the Mattress factory is James Turrell’s “Danaë.” This dark room’s bright, ambiguously colored, box is located at the end of the room and creates a fun and discussion-worthy effect (that I will not spoil).

This week, a lot of the main building is under construction. Therefore, the only exhibits open are the permanent ones. Luckily for my date, the installation museum has two satellite buildings on the same street.

The first one we visited was a house that has been repurposed entirely as a full temporary installation piece. Currently, Dennis Maher’s “A Second Home” captivates anyone who enters. The floor to ceiling, three floor, exhibit is filled with purposeful and confusing detail in every square inch. I would encourage any visitor to really take their time observing the space, and try to understand the mysterious story Maher is trying to tell.

IRIS_SIRI by Kevin Clancy

In the next satellite building Kevin Clancy’s work “IRIS_SIRI” on the third floor is engaging and also discussion worthy with his commentary on our money and social media driven culture. Whether visiting on a date, with family, or riding solo, the Mattress Factory is a wonderful gem in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania’s North Side.

Have you ever been to the Mattress Factory? What’s your favorite installation? Comment below!

 

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