Artist Talk: Keith Tyson and Ben Luke

  • 28 June 2019

Keith Tyson discussed his work with Ben Luke in the setting of the exhibition at Hauser & Wirth London, featuring new paintings entitled ‘Life Still’. The Turner Prize-winning artist Keith Tyson is interested in how art emerges from the combination of information systems and physical processes that surround us. Ben Luke is the Review editor and podcast host at The Art Newspaper, and an art critic at the Evening Standard.

The talk was on the occasion of an exhibition of new paintings by Keith Tyson entitled ‘Life Still’. The series of works displayed have a shared subject matter; they are all flower paintings. Through the prism of this singular genre, Tyson moves between the philosophical, the mathematical, and the mythological to create the 25 works in the exhibition. Tyson has referred to paint as a ‘programmable material’ and an ongoing interest in computers, coding and data has always been an important part of his life – from taking apart a motherboard as a teenager, to building ‘Art Machine’ early in his career. This featured algorithm generated combinations of words and ideas, which Tyson then realised in a multitude of media.

His fascination with systems and the effect of data consumption manifests itself in the abundance of formal languages of painting in the exhibition. As Tyson says, ‘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.’ Ben Luke is the Review editor and podcast host at The Art Newspaper, an art critic at the Evening Standard, and a contributor to various visual art publications. He has contributed essays to catalogues on artists including Mark Dion, Michael Craig-Martin, Sean Scully and Jiro Takamatsu, and is a member of the advisory committee of the Government Art Collection in the UK.