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Suzi Matthews

The pieces in this show represent a continuation of the work I call "numeralisms." I cut numbers out of their original context (magazines, junk mail, catalogues) and glue them into new sequences. But as I follow the numbers where they lead me, I keep discovering new orders to explore. The improvisations and variations invite the question, "where do I fit in?"

Some pieces are densely populated, like the pieces installed in the ISE window. Where others allow for negative spaces to emerge with clusters or strings of numbers standing on their own. Life begins to lurk beneath the stark numeric symbols as they take on the shape of twisting DNA.

Often the patterns take the form of organic material, like weeds or roots or muscle sinew. Sometimes they are more like cityscapes, or the silicon cities of circuit boards. I am experimenting with new ways of ringing in the numerical chaos by imposing new rules, like a monochromatic color scheme or numbers only of a certain size.

I've also been exploding the scale of the work, creating multiple canvasses that are each part of a whole, similar to the way each number that I cut is in turn part of that canvas. As these panels can be placed in any direction, the overall composition changes with each hanging. The organic nature of the process becomes exponential.

Perhaps the most personally significant change in my work is that I am increasingly drawing the raw material from catalogs for electronic components made by the business my father founded in 1968. I find it deeply satisfying to deconstruct these catalogs and recycle them for my own purposes. My tedious, compulsive process of cutting and gluing echoes the factory assembly-line I've watched so often, during my day job at the family business, as these parts are manufactured and soldered into a greater whole. Instead of the junk mail and magazines that I turned to for my earlier work, this more personal source represents and exploration of my family history. Though it may not be visible on the surface, the effect of the source is significant. The numbers retain traces of their origin, and my reconstruction of them--the new patterns, the negative spaces, the interplay of colors--stem from a sense that they are concrete relics of my personal history.