Archive for category Subject: Keith Tyson

Keith Tyson: Iterations & Variations

When an artist has been a Turner prize winner, you can expect to be in for a bumpy ride. Rightly, the award features artists who are at the forefront – I don’t think it’s unfair to say the bleeding edge – of contemporary art, while at the same time having a body of work that ensures that they are not merely the darling of the current moment. This would also explain why they are frequently names that are not familiar to the wider public.

Keith Tyson’s work defies categorisation, and this is deliberate. It is, in a nutshell, an exploration of reality. Thus, the cover image here is entitled Seed of Consciousness. It certainly represents a vision of the human brain, with synapses, neurons and pathways visible among nascent images and emerging patterns of thought. The more you look at it, the more a feeling of reality develops: here are flowers, maybe land and seascapes, perhaps clouds. It most certainly demonstrates an emerging awareness.

Open the book and one of the first things you’re presented with is a flow chart of the creative process, or Keith’s at least. It’s best summarised as “if you’re not happy with what you’ve done, stop work and start something new”, which would be sound advice for any creative process. I’m beginning to like Keith.

The book opens with accounts of Tyson’s work, loosely broken down into Generative Art, Studio Wall Drawings, Painting and Arrays. These take many forms and are not constrained by any one approach or medium and can include sculpture and installation as well as painting and drawing. What is interesting about the book as a piece of production is when we get to the Painting section, because the paper stock changes. I haven’t seen this done before, but we’re now on a glossy, coated surface the reproduces the colour and detail of these works. It predicates a commitment to the artist and his work as well as simple care and attention to detail. Thames & Hudson are very good at reproducing colour on book paper, but that’s clearly not good enough for them here and they have, in a book as thorough and comprehensive as this, rightly refused to compromise. I’d expected a higher price and, although this is by no means cheap, it is extraordinary value.

Click the picture to view on Amazon

Leave a comment

  • Archives

  • Categories