Line Paintings, Derivatives and Complexity

Op art painting from 2002

This is an optical painting I did in 2002. From about 1998 my notebook doodles started becoming more complex and in 2001 and 2002, I took the images to canvas and gradually moved up in scale. The work above is 90 x 120 cm.

Here is a a scan from a 1999 notebook (drawing size = 14 x 9 cm) :

notebook drawing 1999

In 2009/10 I made more of these works and up-scaled again, the following painting is 162 x 130 cm

Op line painting 2009

At these scales the works dissolve the rational sense of pictorial structure and initiate an active eye where focus and perspective are difficult and confusing, as the painting seems to expand its formal space and then fragment across the wall, persisting as a constantly moving after-image, a writhing sensuality. I’d like to think of these works as somehow analogous to my previous post about the tendency towards complexity in the financial markets and the confusion of comprehension: as complexity is increased our ability to comprehend relationships diminishes. Although in art, this movement is positive and generous in that new possibilities and perspectives are generated, this is the meta project of art. We could hardly say that about complex financial instruments, whose real world value was very quickly outstripped by their usefulness for speculation, they have been employed as a smokescreen for criminality and to further the eternal project of the concentration of wealth.

Leave a Reply