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  • Writer's pictureM Ritchie

A Garden in the Machine

I could not be more pleased to present A Garden in the Machine, an exhibition of new work with James Cohan gallery at 48 Walker Street from September 10 through October 15.

A Garden in the Machine brings together two new series of paintings, drawings, and a related film with a monumental sculpture. These works continue to explore the ways in which I synthesize systems; from the mathematical to the botanical to the poetic, to create a deeply personal language of expressive hybrid forms. The gesture becomes a means of teasing out the overlapping threads and knotty contradictions between seemingly disparate realms of understanding.

The new paintings depict looping vortexes of chimerical limbs and primeval roots, strange organic forms that seem to hover perpetually on the thresholds of cognition and formation. In each work, I've tried to build a richly evocative world that feels at once deeply familiar and eerily foreign. This push and pull between dissonance and harmony, between the beautiful and the grotesque, constitutes what I think of as the “plasmatic space of painting.”

These works are an outgrowth of my experimentation with a type of machine learning known as generative adversarial networks (GANs), which treat images as data from which to develop new imagery. For each of the series included in the exhibition, I trained the program using different databases of drawings, portraits, and landscapes drawn from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, medieval art, and his own works into a singular visual language. The GANs functions as an image generator from which I can intuitively build my own compositions.

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