Memorial to the Great Western Expo
found printed material/artists tape
30" high(variable) x 64" wide x 32" deep
Matthew Northridge’s eye-popping “Memorial to the Great Western Expo” is like an extravagant celebration reduced to a manageable scale. The work consists of 1,540 individual flag-like forms strung onto 55 separate rows, which are then installed in a dense layer across the corner of the gallery. While the form is reminiscent of the cheap, colorful plastic flags car dealerships use to announce a big sale, the unique pattern and color scheme suggests something more akin to national or regional flags. Northridge uses found paper as the primary material for his labor-intensive and painstakingly precise works. He cuts details out of larger images from magazines, catalogues, and exhibition announcements and arranges them into repetitive patterns. Northridge’s flag pieces reference completely fictional places that are rooted in the idealism of democracy and the egalitarianism of a word’s fair. In this piece, his cropping reduces recognizable imagery into decoration and patterning but nonetheless instigates our consideration of such topics as national pride, world politics, corporate identity, and marketing strategies.
-New Art: Recent Additions to the Collection, Hirshhorn Magazine.