For over thirty years, Turner Prize-winning British artist Keith Tyson has used a variety of methods and materials to explore our reality and art’s role in representing it. Hauser & Wirth presents new drawings and paintings from two of Tyson’s extensive and ongoing series, with works spanning both ground floor galleries of the 22nd Street location.
Tyson’s still life paintings bring together disparate styles and techniques, concepts and ideas. The genre has become a place from which the artist, who eschews the notion of a signature style, is able to launch infinite painterly explorations.
The first room includes Tyson’s latest large-scale flower paintings, made mostly during social isolation. Each canvas is rendered in a different aesthetic style, with Tyson reimagining the floral still life genre through varying scientific, mathematical, and art-historical frameworks.
The second room of the exhibition is devoted to the newest iterations of Tyson’s Studio Wall Drawing series, initiated in 1997. Painted on identically sized sheets of paper and displayed together in a grid-like formation, these works occupy the same overall proportions as one of the walls in the artist’s first studio. Shown together, his drawings form a poetic record of passing time, as a group they exist somewhere between a sketchbook, a journal, a poem, and a painting.
While the floral still lives are an exercise in material chaos and control, Tyson’s Studio Wall Drawings series is akin to a visual database, a record of the artist’s daily mediations on the passing of time and the complexity of human existence. The largest of the five works on view from this series is ‘Two Decades in Time and Space’ (2000 – 2020), which consists of 42 individual works on paper, made over the last 20 years, curated together with no obvious chronological or thematic order. Together, they represent a patchwork of the inner and outer worlds we all carry with us and speak to the idea that time is configured through our individual personal experiences and a larger cultural context.
‘I don’t believe in a permanent self or in developing an artistic style. Our world is full of intricately connected systems and events. I’m simply trying to make work in collaboration with them.’