Dave Cole: Flags of the World

February 14 to June 9, 2009
Curator: Richard Klein

Exhibition Reception March 1, 2009; 3 to 5 pm

Despite resembling the one made by Betsy Ross, Dave Cole’s American flag is respectfully re-imagined to make a statement that is as provocative as it is patriotic.

The Rhode Island-based artist has mounted Flags of the World (Study #3), 2008, one of a series of American flags that the artist has painstakingly handcrafted, in The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum’s Leir Atrium. The work will remain on view through June 9, 2009.

The flag is made from red, white, and blue fabric which the artist has cut from the official United Nations 192-piece ”Flags of the World“ set. The leftover fragments of multi-colored fabric, as well as one of the pairs of scissors that the artist used, are included as part of the piece. A documentary video of the creation of the work, as well as the 450-square-foot final Flags of the World installation, will also be shown.

The work is carefully cut and sewn together in the manner of a quilt, as Cole turns the iconic symbol into an object that engenders contemplation on the character of the United States in an age of growing globalization.

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Dave Cole: Flags of the World

Dave Cole, Flags of the World (Study #3) (installation view at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield), 2007
From the private collection of Bridgitt and Bruce Evans
Courtesy of the artist and judi rottenberg gallery, Boston



Dave Cole: Flags of the World

Dave Cole, Flags of the World (Study #3) (installation view at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield), 2007
From the private collection of Bridgitt and Bruce Evans
Courtesy of the artist and judi rottenberg gallery, Boston



Dave Cole: Flags of the World

Dave Cole, Flags of the World (Study #3) (installation view at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield), 2007
From the private collection of Bridgitt and Bruce Evans
Courtesy of the artist and judi rottenberg gallery, Boston

The Artist:
Dave Cole was raised on his family’s farm in New Hampshire. He worked as a carpenter prior to his enrollment in Brown University, where he graduated with honors in 2000. His work is best known for deceptive accessibility, combined with monumental scale. He first received widespread critical attention for his installation of The Knitting Machine at Mass MoCA in 2005. Cole has been the recipient of numerous fellowships, awards, and commissions, and his work is in museum and private collections worldwide. He enjoys great popularity in Scandinavia. Dave Cole is represented by judi rotenberg gallery, Boston.

The Aldrich is supported, in part, by the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

Dave Cole, Flags of the World (Study #3) (installation view at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield), 2007. Courtesy of the artist and judi rotenberg gallery, Boston. From the Private Collection of Bridgitt and Bruce Evans.