Occupying the intersection between algorithmic programming and painterly expression, "Inaction" presents a space that folds the gestures of the hand into the automation of the computer and collapses the moving image into the still. Inspired by Vilem Flusser's "Into the Universe of Technical Images", Versteeg focuses simultaneously on the production of new visual information as well as the unique historical conditions that drive artists toward abstraction as creative undertaking.
The exhibition begins with a direct address to the digital screen. In "God made the earth in small circles", Versteeg blinds the gallery's glass front with an enlarged backlit image of Gerard Richter's pixilated Cologne Cathedral that he gleaned from the Internet. Rather than the pigmented color of stained glass, however, this flattened scrim depicts exclusively through the additive values of red, green, and blue; thereby illuminating the mechanics of a computer monitor and it's affects to perception. In homage to the Chicago fall's waning sun, a spotlight positioned outside the gallery will provide illumination for the work on opening night.
The surrounding walls will debut a selection from an ongoing body of digital abstractions which navigate the interstices between code-based automation, alchemy, and ritualistic determination. Through mimetic rendering the viscosity, reflections, and transparencies of what we traditionally accept as painterly, Versteeg creates an aesthetic space that foregoes the info-matic in favor of elucidating the balancing parameters of an ever increasing myriad of variables.
Siebren Versteeg lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Solo exhibitions include the Museum of Art at Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, Identifying Hedges, Artist-in-Residence Project, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo, NY, En Masse, Art Institute of Boston, Boston, MA, and CC and Dynamic Ribbon Device, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH. Recent group exhibitions include the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C., and the Renaissance Society, Chicago, IL. Versteeg was a recipient of the Illinois Arts Council, Fellowship in 2005, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Merit Fellowship in 2004, and received the Stone Fellowship for Graduate Study from the University of Illinois, Chicago, from which he received his Masters degree in 2004.