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Keith Tyson: Big Data (Paintings 2012 - 2018)
ZURICH • Hauser & Wirth • 16 March - 19 May 2018
Hauser & Wirth Zürich mounts a solo exhibition of recent paintings by Turner Prize winner Keith Tyson. Created between 2012 and 2018, the works on display explore the varied approaches towards painting Tyson employs, from conceptual to mythological to formalist and beyond, and how these methodologies are united in the final result of paint on a canvas. The exhibition title ‘BIG DATA’ references Tyson’s ongoing interest in interconnectivity, universal experiences and the effect of computing and data consumption on himself and society as a whole over the past several decades.
The laws of computer coding are mimicked in Tyson’s artworks through his take on a supposed rule in conceptual art; that there exists a parenthesis within which a conceptual artwork can be made.
In ‘The Things that Came to Pass’ (2014 – 2017), eight panels form a single piece in two elements: eight rules and eight related images painted above each rule. The rule ‘21 artist gangbang’, a reference to Internet pornography is also quite simply a citation of 21 artists’ iconic trademarks that meet in an orgy of pictorial consumption.
In a standalone panel work ‘Big Data’ (2017), the information in the bottom half of the canvas shows a space ranging from Unknown to Famous, and African to Eurasian with a and b marking a relatively famous Asian man and a relatively unknown African man respectively. Tyson found the portrait of the African man in a charity shop, replicated it and then painted the likeness of an Asian billionaire in the exact same style. The painting is everything within the frame, including the diagram and words even if our minds interpret them as text, since Tyson explores the relationship between rule and picture co-existing side by side. Also examined is the potential for an artwork to emerge through a unique process in the world – in this case, Tyson’s chance encounter with the painting in a charity shop – and the artist’s appropriation of found imagery.
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