Work Surface 2015-2018
Matt Lynch and Curtis Goldstein
Formica Laminate on panel, 10 works in series
Weston Art Gallery 2018
Cincinnati Art Museum 2017
Work/Surface is a series of 90 x 90 inch mosaics, made from laser-cut Formica laminate, that depict factory interiors in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the diversity of Cincinnati’s workforce. The series is inspired by Winold Reiss’s Worker Murals, which were completed for Cincinnati’s Union Terminal in 1933, and by a fascination with Formica, a famously smooth and durable laminate invented in Cincinnati, Ohio. The project emerged from Lynch and Goldstein’s curiosity about how contemporary factories work, and how their products are made, as well as through their personal experimentation with engineered materials. Assembled from thousands of pieces cut with a programmed laser, and made from hundreds of differently colored and textured sheets of laminate, the mosaics refer to work on multiple levels: from the factories they depict, to the production and use of laminate, and the art-making process. The multiple aspects of contemporary labor that are hidden in the surfaces of Work/Surface also call attention to the people that are prominently depicted operating and controlling the machinery and without whom, ultimately, none of the products that make up essential parts of our physical environment would exist.
Work/Surface was supported by funding from the University of Cincinnati’s Third Century Grant for Arts and Humanities and by Formica Corporation.
Images of individual works: