Keith Tilford

Drawings and Installation
May 13 to June 12, 2004

Keith Tilford composes ink drawings of portraits, books, explosions and other referential material. These works are accompanied by a large concatenated sculpture composed of plastics snap ties. Tilford’s drawings combine to create a large scale installation sprawled over the walls of the gallery. Individual works not only function by themselves but also become signs and symbols akin to those they are composed with and when placed in proximity to each other become new systems. Two-dimensional objects form spatial environments that allow multiple sites of entry for the viewer.

Tilford’s ink drawings are composed of meticulously layered signs and symbols from disparate semiotic systems. His depiction of compounds, valences, formulae, and vectors are drawn from chemistry and physics. The fragments of words, sentences and punctuation are derived from both literary sources and personal musings. The artist uses a matrix of sign systems to demonstrate both the variance in forms of communication as well as the way they construct individual identity. His portraits become a site to examine questions concerning the possibilities of subjectivity in the contemporary world as well as a response to having to absorb the effects produced by forces acting on one from outside (media, technology, social interaction). As first glance, the drawings appear to be obsessive abstracted information, but when viewed from a distance, forms are revealed.

The artist sees the underlying structure of the renderings as visually or conceptually dissipating and at the same time continually changing, growing, and creating new systems. Tilford is interested in the plastic and concrete qualities of language as material, but also in languages parasitic and controlling implication into our everyday lives. Through his drawings, he explores the way in which language functions as the formation of the structure of a part as well as its autopoetic capacity in which the interaction of its components gives rise to new interactions and new meanings.

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