KANSAS is pleased to present Pictures by Wire and Wireless, a solo exhibition of new work by Matthew Northridge. Opening November 4, the works will be on view through December 17, 2011.
Matthew Northridge’s work is equal parts play and order. He assembles patterns and structure that explore a vast, visual landscape through cultural ephemera. Whether composed of variable units in space or networks on paper, rules are created and systems developed, in the process collapsing architecture and geographic expanses into discreet compositions. Following the precepts of minimalism, a conceptual framework is devised, all the while finding its basis in the practice of collecting and cataloging.
Northridge culls from an archive of printed material including magazines, maps, advertisements and packaging. Each element is imbued with its previous meaning and history and when disassociated from its source, the bedrock of its origin becomes faintly recognizable and culturally specific. In his objects and installations, the scale consistently remains within the range of the architectural model and occupies the peculiar place of being both thoroughly complete and simply an unrealized prototype of something monumental. Materials assume new meaning and explore the flexibility (and fallibility) of perception.
“Northridge’s engagement with the landscape provides a portal through which we can enter his extraordinary world. Some of his works function as ostensible maps for this journey, while others appear to illustrate its outcome. With titles such as Twelve Ladders, or, How I Planned My Escape and An Astonishing New Collection of Oddities from Every Corner of the Globe, they can appear as a loosely knit narrative of this remarkable adventure. The ladders leaning against the wall and leading to a small window onto a bucolic landscape in Twelve Ladders are reminiscent of a scene from a Pedro Almodovar film, in which masterful depictions of escapism transport us to an entirely new realm. Likewise, An Astonishing New Collection of Oddities is a visual travelogue in miniature—an accumulation of places visited or perhaps simply imagined. If we could only just scale those ladders and climb into that picturesque scene of the countryside we might be able to collect those astonishing oddities from every corner of the globe.” – Excerpted from “The (Im)Possible Journey” by Marshall Price, 2011.
In Mississippi (2011), the artist isolates the jagged line of America’s longest river and redraws it in its entirety on the gallery wall. Closer study reveals that the innocuous contour, which initially appears like an incidental crack in the wall, is in fact a carefully routed groove, painted and finished in its original cartographic position. Like his previous series Aerial Studies, where specific architecture was excised from aerial photographs and relocated within a blank page, the surrounding landscape becomes an invisible yet defining compositional element that locates the subject in an undifferentiated expanse of luciform whiteness.
In the back gallery, Northridge will debut a significant excerpt from an expansive and ongoing series of collage works entitled The World We Live In. Begun in 2006 and named after a popular 1950’s reference book published by Time Life, it currently numbers over 165 pieces. Each 10” x 8” work is part of an ongoing effort to create a compendium of a world both natural and manmade. Employing found imagery, collage, photography, text and drawing, The World We Live In is both an exercise in free association and a study of the unexpected and copious results of daily “drawing”.
Matthew Northridge was born in Manchester, NH, received his BA from Boston College in 1997 and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999. He has had solo exhibitions at Gorney Bravin + Lee, New York and Western Exhibitions, Chicago. His work has been seen in such venues as the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; the National Academy Museum, New York; the Weatherspoon Art Museum, North Carolina and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin among many others.
This is Matthew Northridge’s first show with KANSAS. He lives and works in New York City.