Monday, 28 January 2008

Keith Tyson - Sophie Risner

Keith Tyson

Studio Wall Drawings 1997 - 2007

21.11.07 - 05.01.08

Haunch of Venison

6 Haunch of Venison Yard

'The Studio Wall Drawing exists in a space somewhere between a map, a poem, a diary and a painting'

Keith Tyson

The very nature of Tyson's most recent exhibition at the Haunch of Venison Gallery is something of a visual totem pole to the treasure trove of ideas and mechanisms that explode within Tyson's constantly irritated mind. In total we bare witness to 55 large framed pieces exhibited in a tirelessly over worked format onto freshly painted brown walls. Whilst the ground and first floor take a very specific position as predictably curated illustrative moments, the second floor is more intelligently worked. Placed directly next to each other the result is the creation of something tangibly close to representing Tyson's thought process and fear of specificity. Unlike the ground and first floor here, we have wall-to-wall Tyson. The Haunch of Venison's largest and most powerful space is dominated by the illustrator and turned into a shrine symbolizing thought made process. Tyson is certainly not an artist terrorized by procrastination as more than anything this show serves to isolate and belittled the spectator by the shear strength of Tyson’s illustrative command.

'The thing that keeps me awake the most at night, I have no doubt, is a very general terror of the specificity of things'

Keith Tyson

Here we find the main mechanism in understanding Tyson's feverish work ethic. His mode of representation is not one that finds harmony in the possibilities of subtly nor is he agreeable with an end product formulated by days or months of sifting and specifying. Tyson is an artist who wants you to bare witness to it all. The layering of ideas and irritations make up a complex poetry that demands hours to unpick. Mysticism is redundant in exploring Tyson’s path, almost walked over by years of negotiating the same artistic medium, it is evident that it is not the expanding of process that is key to Tysons work but moreover the expanding of the mind.

To expand on this intricate moment there has to become a moment of indulgence. Tyson is master of indulgence, most artists slave away forming a creation that at least heads in the direction of a conclusion, but with Tyson there is no fear of that, moreover the terror that Tyson brings us is the fear of conclusion itself. Shattering mere observation Tyson pulls at his thoughts to leave complexity in his wake. Problem in this expansion is not that it happens but that it serves to only create a hectic representation of an artist who seems unsure of his abilities, to counter what you think and produce is to criticize your approach whereas here Tyson merely embellishes his. The resistance to head towards conclusion makes this work often un-penetrable and predictable. So as I head towards my own conclusion I can’t help but question Tyson’s fear of specificity, does the fear of leaving out only mean that there becomes more room to put in?

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