Carter Hodgkin’s Aesthetic Embraces Coding and Composition

ANTE Staff

We are proud to feature an interview with the thoughtful polymath artist Carter Hodgkin, who discussed her work with us in depth in order to outline the range of philosophies and aesthetic values impacting her practice. The artist walks us through specific artworks, detailing the global origins that have informed her perspective as a multi-disciplinary and digital creator.

’Remote 6’ Carter Hodgkin Mixed media and collage on canvas on panel (2021) (40×60”)
’Irises on a Rock’ Carter Hodgkin. Animation – HD Blu Ray (4’5”)

ANTE. Thanks for chatting with us, Carter! So in works like “Irises on a Rock,” the viewer is presented with multiple elements moving spatially across the composition at a time – how do you hope this shift in composition impacts the viewer as the work progresses second by second?

 Carter Hodgkin. The animation, “Irises on a Rock” was an opportunity to explore forms growing, dissipating and dissolving.  It came about while taking walks in Upstate, NY examining the lines of bifurcating stems and blossoms on wildflowers and weeds. 
To create this animation, I generated atomic particle collisions using the Open Source program Processing. Playing around with the code becomes a drawing process where parameters are set to create a collision.  Particles collide in an animated somewhat randomly fashion. I piece these animated collisions together to form a moving composition. In forming the  composition, I was inspired by the use of space in Chinese Literati paintings.  

To me, making the animation is like drawing in space and time, giving the viewer an experience of creation. My use of  time slows down the act of viewing, allowing the viewer to notice small  moments morph into something larger. I am excited when my animations are displayed in large-scale settings or on different LED  configurations. The digital nature of my animation process scales well and the animations  become large-scale paintings that move. 

ANTE. “The Nine Bend Stream” is inspired by 16th century Korean landscape painting, yet the work appears primarily as abstraction. How is this work-in-five-parts in dialogue with this historic painting lineage from the perspective of digital art?

CH. I was inspired by the Korean painting “Nine-bend Stream at [Mount] Mui” By Lee Seonggil  (1562–?) which portrays a famous landscape in China. I saw this painting at the Metropolitan  Museum of Art and was intrigued by the quirky mountain forms. I wanted to work with the  abstraction in these forms and began creating compositions that expressed the energy and movement. From there I wove a visual narrative of falling particles conjuring fireworks,  waterfalls, and volcanic mountains. 

’Blue Remote’ Carter Hodgkin Mixed media and collage on canvas on panel (2021) (40×60”)

ANTE. In your artist statement, you outline that you are inspired by the interdiscipinary links connecting science, tech and art through the common language of abstraction. Can you provide specific examples of how multiple disciplines connect in your artwork(s)?

CH. I have been connecting these links for a long time in various ways. Two pieces that might serve as examples of these connections are Blue Remote and Remote 6; both paintings made in 2021. My exploration with atomic particle collisions is a scientific aspect while tech is in the tools I use to translate the collisions into a format I can work with and the art is in making a painting, mosaic or animation out of it all. For Blue Remote and Remote 6, I generated particle collisions in a landscape format. I played with the code so that particles hit the bottom of the canvas and moved back upwards towards the top of the canvas.  When I got something  I liked, I captured a collision and digitized it through the lens of mosaic. Conflating mosaic with the digital collapses high tech with the lowest tech imaging as well as evoking ancient and future. 

Form is created by gluing hand-painted paper squares onto  grounds of canvas printed with ‘digital noise patterns. Using acrylic and watercolor, I play with  color and visual textures to create layers of depth and movement.  The construction of form becomes labor-intensive, meditative and contemplative. What takes  seconds to create in a collision, takes weeks to interpret into a painting.  

ANTE. Can you share with us what you’re working on currently, and what you have upcoming in your practice?

CH. In response to new media ‘updates’, i.e. NFT and Instagram, I have been creating very short animations in those formats. I also want to create  longer animations that can reside in stand-alone playback format, i.e. frames. 

However, painting occupies my  attention –  as  always – and I’ve been working on medium scale paintings in square and landscape format. Some of these  pieces will be in a show at Saratoga Arts, NY in June. Two paintings from 2010 will be in a  show called “Techpression- the digital & beyond” at the Southampton Art Center, NY in April.  

Altered States: Artist Evelyne Huet Abstracts Humanity in DEAR HUMANS

“Envious Thoughts”, Evelyne Huet, DEAR HUMANS at Atlantic Gallery

Evelyne Huet‘s solo exhibition at Atlantic Gallery, DEAR HUMANS, extracts the pure essence of humanity in a range of mostly abstract compositions. Spanning sombre-colored hues and bright flashes of neon, the digital paintings on view intersperse various references to the human psyche. Linear compositions merge with organic forms to allow the viewer’s subconscious to create spontaneous responses to the overall effect of each artwork. Translating the spirit of Color Field painting from the analog to the digital, Huet’s works draw from the same elevated abstraction as artists like Gerard Richter. Color and line merge to form in Huet’s DEAR HUMANS, with the works forming a digitally-painted deep dive into various psychological and emotional states. On view through March 30, 2019, DEAR HUMANS provides a nuanced and provocative exploration of both normal and altered states of human consciousness.

“The Innocents”, Evelyne Huet, DEAR HUMANS at Atlantic Gallery

Huet draws from her professional background in anthropology, mathematics and fine art to create a new, digitally-created sensorial realm. With colors seemingly melting back toward flat planes of tones beyond amorphous figures, Huet doesn’t hold back from bold juxtapositions in these works while still maintaining an ethereal quality. “I choose to study this discipline for its infinitely dream-like dimension,” remarks Huet. Creating works centered around the human form and psyche, Huet physically creates these digital paintings using her fingers on a screen: building these complex representational works directly with her body, mediated by technology. Drawing from Western art history’s roots in religious subject matter, specifically by bestowing titles such as “The Parables of Jesus of Nazareth” and “Nativity” on her artworks, Huet’s exhibition spans social and historical themes that remain timeless. The primitive and cutting-edge technology merge in her artistic stylings, with the final paintings printed specifically in Brussels with rare, museum-quality Diasec® finish (in limited editions of 3).

“Nativity”, Evelyne Huet, DEAR HUMANS at Atlantic Gallery

Evelyne Huet is a French artist who lives and works in Paris. She was originally trained as a mathematician, before teaching for years at the Sorbonne in Paris before re-orienting her career toward Fine Arts. Originally working as an oil painter, Huet changed to digital painting and as a new means of translating her artistic vision. She is a member of the Sociétaire of the Salon d’Automne, as well as membership in the OpenArtCode group of international artists. DEAR HUMANS is on view at Atlantic Gallery, 548 W 28th Street, Suite 540 New York, NY 10001, through March 30th (open Tuesday-Saturday, 12-6 pm).

The Lure of “Color Matters” at Galerie Richard

(cover image, artworks by Jamie Martinez for “Color Matters” at Galerie Richard on view through Nov 17)

 

Color Matters, a group exhibit featuring seven artists on view at Galerie Richard through November 17, presents a detailed exploration of contemporary artists’ use of color. A fascinating juxtaposition of color expressed in both analog and digital artworks, Color Matters includes masterful explorations of color by artists Koen Delaere, Dennis Hollingsworth, Kim Young-Hun, Jamie Martinez, Noriko Mizokawa, Carl Fudge and Joseph Nechvatal. The exhibit continues a dialogue initiated by the art critic Saul Ostrow-curated summer show, Position Matters. Spanning a range of cultural and stylistic approaches to color, these artists are re-defining how color impacts composition in the contemporary moment.

Gallery view, Color Matters at Galerie Richard

Combining multiple mediums including ink, oil and digital printing methods, the artworks on view converse in a wide lexicon reflecting the present moment in art-making. The show is introduced with works by Kim Young-Hun and Dennis Hollingsworth, flanking the front of the gallery space. Evincing a painterly approach, Young-Hun’s work balances a delicate sense of line with a post-abstract style expressed through the traditional Korean method of painting known as Hyukpil. In contrast, Hollingsworth mounts his oil paints onto the canvas or onto supports attached to canvas by sculpting the medium onto the surface. This juxtaposition of works charts the use of color on a global and chronological scale, particularly when one considers that these artists perfected their practice in the interstitial period between analog and digital art.

Works by Koen Delaere, Color Matters at Galerie Richard

The vibrant underpinnings in Carl Fudge and Jamie Martinez’ digital paintings continue the theme of contrast appearing throughout the exhibition. Both artists evoke a graphic sensibility in the exhibition: Fudge’s screen prints trace a subtle gradient of color, marking individual artworks within a cohesive new body of work. Martinez similarly presents a graphic, geometric sensibility in his compositions. The artist’s formulation of his digital paintings in accordance with his principle of Triangulation, composing his paintings of various triangles. The dynamic effect this exudes throughout the artist’s works are palpable, with compositions seeming to leap from the surface of the works. Martinez mastery of his craft is evident in the expert balance between line and color defining the artist’s practice.

works by Noriko Mizokawa, Color Matters at Galerie Richard

Works by Joseph Nechvatal, Noriko Mizokawa and Koen Delaere complete the exhibit. Nechvatal’s works reflect a targeted approach to color, as each hue reflects tones found throughout the human body. Brown, orange and pink shades permeate the artist’s digital paintings and allow an intimate means of experiencing the figure through a nuanced, abstract perspective. Koen Delaere allows color to infiltrate his scattered pattern of lines, with neutral tones and bright hues alike seemingly dancing across the surface of his paintings. Mizokawa draws from a homogeneous lexicon of forms: her organic shapes and dots similarly arrange themselves across the surface of all of her works. The artists range of color from bright hues to pastel tones articulates the unique approach she mounts in creating each unique artwork. Congruent yet surprising, Mizokawa’s compositions delight both long-standing fans of the artist’s work and those new to her practice.

Color Matters is on view at Galerie Richard, located at 121 Orchard Street on New York’s Lower East Side, through November 17. Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10am-7pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm.