Matthew Northridge

April 16 - May 30, 2020

Since 2006, the American artist Matthew Northridge has been creating collages in which highly idealized photographs of nature serve as a background for abstract formal structures.

“The World We Live In” is an unlimited series that reinvents itself over and over again from the bundle of found paper scraps and separated pages with landscape photographs by the artist. The title is based on a scientific series by the American LIFE magazine from the 1950s, which explained to the readers of that time everything about our earth- from space, to dinosaurs, to the depths of the sea, with a mixture of photographic and artistic illustrations. Matthew Northridge’s collages also retain an essential moment in this 1950s magazine series: artificial and seemingly real living space enter into an inspiring symbiosis.

The cut-out pages, which serve as a background for the collages, depict a wide variety of landscapes from all over the world: snow-covered mountain peaks, desert, streams in the forest… What they all have in common, however, is a certain Caspar-David-Friedrich-effect. The texture of the paper, the colorfulness and the chosen picture detail and romanticize the landscapes, leaving only an imprint of the real place. So you could find yourself in the same situation as John Ruskin, who tried in vain to visit the places that William Turner depicted in his paintings.

The geometric paper compositions in the foreground, some of which are reminiscent of the 1950s, lay over these landscapes and in turn create a world of their own. While the forms in the last exhibition (2015) were rather abstract and inserted into the background, they are now characterized by a greater flatness and radiant coloration. Their aesthetics are much more reminiscent of our living space than the landscapes in the background, and the artist has compared them to “billboards” (Matthew Northridge, NY Arts Magazine). The extent to which the artist’s immediate living environment is incorporated into the compositions of the collages is examined in more detail in the interview with Matthew Northridge.

Matthew Northridge was born in 1974 in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA and now lives and works in New York. His works are represented in several institutional collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, and have been exhibited throughout America and more recently increasingly in Europe.