“Drawings / Prints / Animation” – NYC gallery debut
July 7, 2005 – August 6, 2005
bitforms gallery is pleased to announce the debut of Montreal-based artist James Paterson. “Drawings / Prints / Animations” marks his first solo exhibition in the United States.
At the heart of James Paterson’s work, there is no formal separation between drawing, animation and programming. His imagination clouds are filled with free-floating imagery– ice cream fountains, rains of numbers, and shooting star snowflakes. Scuba gear and dancing ladies morph into wriggling lines that twist into space. Paterson brings his characters to life through a natural synthesis of modern drawing tools. The results resemble a graffiti that seems to write itself.
Departing from traditional techniques, Paterson experiments with code and authors programs to assist him with all areas of his work. Using software as the intermediary, Paterson applies animation concepts to drawing, and vice versa. Contour drawings form the aesthetic core of his artwork. The drawings are scanned from sketchbooks, and form a vast digital library of source material for Paterson’s virtual collages.
The large prints on display in this exhibition are composed and colored using algorithms authored by Paterson. These “arrangement programs” visually smash his original drawings together, and then output 2-D compositions. Before arriving at the final image, Paterson alters each collage again with Flash, changing the layers and colors.
In the exhibition are two animations. The first, set to the music of Montreal based Evil Pupil, presents a rainbow world of eclectic, fluid characters. The piece is generated with custom software, also written by the artist, and drawings from his sketchbooks that are used as key frames. The second animation displays Paterson’s vast digital catalog containing thousands of black and white drawings. As a product
of code instructions, this animation pauses intermittently, revealing random still frames from his database of drawings.
The illustrative language of James Paterson is influenced by creative forms with gesture– the handmade films of Norman McClaren, video games, and music. Online, Paterson releases new artwork daily via www.presstube.com. The page receives about 30,000 “hits” per month, indicating that there is already a sizable community tuned into his work. At only 25 years of age, Paterson’s work has already been exhibited worldwide at venues including Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Contemporary Art at Taipei, ICA in London, the Seoul Museum of Art in Korea, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, GGG Gallery in Tokyo, Kunsthalle Wien in Austria, Centro de Cultura Contemporanea de Barcelona, the London Design Museum, Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam, The Second Seoul International Art Biennale, Kunstlerhaus, Wien, and Muvim in Valencia, Spain.