Andrew Marsh makes beautiful and terrifying art exploring sacrifice and reward in the face of severe chronic pain. Combining cast iron, welded steel, and chainsaw carved wood, Marsh’s explosive ritual performances, large-scale sculptures, and environmental installations are dark effigies to the torment of healing, blending the sensuality of nature and brutality of industry with solemn reflections on tragedy and mortality.
His works echo fundamental dualities, such as the living balance between passion for life and fixations on death, or the fragility of enduring a broken body while maintaining strength of soul. Many pieces serve as memento mori, or other memorials holding significant symbols, but all contrast horror with solace. Incendiary performances, where he pours molten iron into wood molds, yield highly abstract cast iron artifacts that are points of origin for his abstract metal sculptures. These attest to chaotic primordial origins, reveal unending inflammation and injuries, yet exist within expressive compositions once combined with steel and concrete fragments.
Remaining true to DIY punk culture and activism, Marsh builds all his own work, utilizing reclaimed, recycled, and repurposed materials and machines in a studio he created within Vogt Machine Company, a deteriorating former factory in Louisville, Kentucky. His sustainable approach to materials and methods relies on post-consumer utility as a viable alternative to energy- and resource-intensive consumption of new materials. By using iconoclastic imagery, his aim is to upend power structures and institutions exploiting the natural world and human capital for profit. Marsh’s works intertwine emotional decay with natural systems in revolt as deviations on personal trauma, grief, and environmental protest.
Marsh is assistant director for Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research and program officer for the Leigh Ann Conn Prize for Renewable Energy at the University of Louisville. He serves as chair of the board of directors and executive officer for Josephine Sculpture Park in Frankfort KY, is a contributing artist at Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum in Solsberry IN, and co-chaired the 2017 and 2019 National Conferences on Contemporary Cast Iron Art & Practices at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Birmingham AL.
He was artist in residence at City Museum in St. Louis MO after earning his MFA at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (‘01) and BFA at the University of Kentucky (‘95). His work has appeared in over 250 group and solo exhibitions, collections, installations, and events.