Cheyney Thompson “Chronochromes /Umberto/Simon/Carlo” press release 2011

Gallery A/B: Cheyney Thompson  “Chronochromes /Umberto/Simon/Carlo”

Opening Friday 20 May 2011 – from 7pm to 9,30 pm – From 20 May to 15 July 2011

The artistic research of Cheyney Thompson (Baton Rouge, 1975 – lives and works in New York) is based on the analysis of history, the circulation and production of painting. For his third exhibition in the Raucci/Santamaria Gallery, Thompson presents fourth and final sequence of paintings and objects which hold together  sensory, numeric, and temporal data.

A first example are the Chronochromes, elegant oil paintings, outlined following the digital scans of the canvas linen weave. To paint them, Thompson follows the colour ordering invented by Albert Munsell, a three-dimensional chromatic system that classifies the different shades within a strict spatio-numeric metric.

Within this model colour is described by the terms: hue, brightness and saturation. In these paintings this system of colours is structured following the calendar in which months, days and hours are indicated by the colours on the canvas. Each day has a complementary pair of shades, so does each hour with a change in brightness, and finally each month with a different saturation. A system that marks the time of the making of a work, of which the anchors are noon as total white and midnight as total black.

A reflection on pictorial production, based on a repeated gesture however always producing  subtle gradations, testifying all the differences registered in fatigue, attention, and distraction during a year, in relation to the passing of time. Concerning this, the artist explains: “Painting is here equated with a kind of wage labor, where time itself, the time of life, has become a discrete set of countable units and plotted within the support-painting. But of course pictures always say more than they intend, so that even if the paintings are the result of a highly instrumentalized reasoning, they seem to picture a kind of desire which is rooted in the laboring body”.

This systematic pictorial approachhas a sculptural implication in the Pedestals, wooden pedestals coated in Formica of different colours chosen by the owners of the gallery: each pedestal is designed to always maintain a surface area of 2,06 square meters. The pedestals are a formal sculptural translation of the same procedure of data-gathering, so although they have the same total surface, they are outlined as always different architectural compositions. Thompson reflects on the schema of pictorial, realizing and systematically deconstructing its attendant supports.