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The Hite Art Institute is pleased to announce the opening of “Painting in the Network: Algorithm and Appropriation,” an exhibition of seven contemporary artists whose work explores the intersection between painting and digital technology.

“Painting in the Network” is an exhibition about painting, even though roughly half of the work on display isn’t painting at all. Instead, this artwork is painterly—that is, it adopts certain formal painting devices (like color theory, modeling, and single point perspective), and it elaborates certain painterly tactics originally developed by the 19th and 20th century avant-garde. Artists in the exhibition are concerned with how such painterly traditions survive—and even thrive—in the digital age. Tabor Robak, for example, writes elaborate computer programs that produce never-ending digital compositions. Alex Dodge makes paintings, but his process begins on a computer. The subjects of his compositions undergo multiple permutations as they are scanned, edited, and manipulated in various 2D and 3D computer environments. Gabriel Orozco’s Invariants Animation demonstrates how his Samurai Tree paintings are made according to a complex algorithm. In every case, these artworks take up painterly tactics of “deskilling,” modernist techniques that outsourced the composition of painting to a third party or to acts of appropriation. However, in this work “deskilling” operations look more like “reskilling.” That is, most of these artists are very talented computer programmers—talent evidenced by their elaborate compositions.

“Painting in the Network” includes work by Siebren Versteeg, Gabriel Orozco, Cory Arcangel, Tabor Robak, Davis Rhodes, Laeh Glenn and Alex Dodge. 


Image Credit: 
Tabor Robak, Darkroom (still), 2016, generative animation on custom PC, dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist and Team Gallery, New York

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