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Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...
China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...
Andrew Kreps Gallery is pleased to announce Somewhere Some Pictures Sometimes, Cheyney Thompson's seventh exhibition with the gallery.
Central to Thompson's practice is an inquiry into the production, distribution, and exhibition of painting. His projects, which often span several years, impose structures and constraints onto the making of his work. These limitations are in turn generative, resulting in exhaustive investigations into the medium of painting and the problems that surround it. Tying his works to mathematical and economic formulas, his own labor as an artist, and the architecture that his paintings occupy, Thompson enacts a tension between their formal qualities, and the larger systems of circulation they inhabit.
For the exhibition, Thompson continues his series of quantity paintings, in which a total volume of pigment proportionate to the surface area of the canvas is divided through the use of the random walk algorithm. The resulting portions dictate the amount of pigment applied in each gestural stroke, aiming to cover the surface of the canvas as quickly as possible. Here, the works are executed in formats that replicate the sixteen paintings that comprised Thompson's 2015 exhibition at the gallery. Installed in the same manner, Thompson has made five monochromatic variations of each work, representing the primary colors (red, blue, and yellow), as well as value (white and black).
This framework provides the basis for a biometrically secure punch clock designed by Thompson that will cycle through each of the 152,587,890,625 unique combinations possible for the installation. The current state of the clock as the gallery staff punches in each morning determines a daily reinstallation of the works, pulled from temporary storage racks built into the gallery's offices. This cycle complicates the perceived formal purity of the monochrome, as the works on view are tied equally to the sixty-four paintings held in the racks, as they are to their own contingent modes of presentation. Organized by an internal logic, and subsumed by the larger structures in which they circulate, the borders of the individual paintings lose their definition, leaving them eroded and exhausted.
In 2017, Thompson's work was the subject of an exhibition at The Brno House of Arts, Brno, Czechia, with Sam Lewitt. Other solo exhibitions include Cheyney Thompson The Completed Reference: Pedestals and Drunken Walks, Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany, 2012, Cheyney Thompson: metric, pedestal, landlord, cabengo, recit, curated by João Ribas, MIT Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts 2012. His work has additionally been included in numerous group exhibitions, including Invisible Adversaries: Marieluise Hessel Collection, Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, 2016, Money, Good and Evil. A Visual History of Economics, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden, Germany, 2016, A Slow Succession with Many Interruptions, SFMOMA, San Francisco, 2016, and _ Materials and Money and Cri_sis, Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, Austria, 2013, the 2008 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2008, among others. Thompson's work is held in the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, SFMoMA, San Francisco, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
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