Galerie Richard

Joseph NECHVATAL - nOise anusmOs

Press release

American artist Joseph Nechvatal presents his solo show with a series of new paintings entitled, nOise anusmOs at Galerie Richard, New York from April 12th to May 26th, 2012. The gallery displays ten new paintings from 2011, in which the human body connects to the cosmos, appearing both figurative and abstract. The theme ofnOise anusmOs is a linkage of the human retina and anus to the cosmos. nOise anusmOs suggests that this includes the connectivity of the noisy universe with the inner human in a spirit of imaginative artistic audacity and erotic spirituality. The viewer can imaginatively replace him or herself within a Dionysian flux of cosmological nature. Other influences on this show are American transcendental black metal music and avant-garde saxophone music. These new paintings can also be perceived as abstract paintings of light and space. The new velvet material brings a sensual matte and satin finish as well as intensity in colors (the black color is as dark as Chinese ink) for a full visual pleasure.

Joseph Nechvatal has worked with electronic images and computer technology since 1986, and has been infecting his paintings with computer viruses since 1991. In 2001 Joseph Nechvatal and Stéphane Sikora combined the initial digital virus project with the principles of artificial life, in other words creating systems of synthesis that reproduces the behavioral characteristics of living systems. In nOise anusmOs, the virus cannot be seen. It acts as an anti-virus, which creates the subject matter instead of destroying it.  The virus knits filaments of cells and assembles them gradually to create the images. Art connoisseurs will be able to draw similarities between these works and Nechvatal’s graphite drawings that he made before 1986.

The exhibition also presents four works from Nechvatal’s stOry Of the eye series, 2010. For the first time, each painting is presented with a digital video. However, none of these paintings has been infected with the virus since 1991, which is very rare. Each video shows a painting alongside the virus in one or two colored dots or a multitude of points. This population of active viruses then grows, reproduces and propagates within the space of the picture. In this series, the virus infects the image with one single color until it becomes monochromatic, marking the end of the process. This contamination of the traditional painting on canvas by new digital technologies thus creates an interface between the virtual and the real, which Nechvatal calls the viractual.

Furthermore, the exhibition also features four paintings from the 2008 series, Out Of shadOws. Firstly, Nechvatal utilized his old photographs from going out to nightclubs in the East Village and the Lower East Side in the 1970s. He then digitally manipulated them, adding fluidity to the floating shadows and infecting them with a virus that made them appear as frozen crystals.

Joseph Nechvatal’s works are featured in the collections of the MoMa, New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Jewish Museum, New York, Malmö Kunsthall, Sweden, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Dôle, France, and the Herb & Dorothy Vogel collection.


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