Keith Tilford

works on paper
Feb 16 – April 1, 2006

James Harris Gallery is pleased to announce the second exhibition of works on paper by Keith Tilford. Continuing his use of pen and ink, Tilford’s recent subject matter is derived from photographs of crowd scenes downloaded from the internet. As in his previous work, swift yet meticulous marks compose small forms which repeat and combine to reveal a larger coherent image. Figures that appear to float and dissipate off the paper break down as the viewer approaches the drawings. While skilled and elegant in their form, more importantly, the construction and subjects of Tilford’s work reveals an epistemological discourse that treats the artistic process as a way of thinking concurrent with a range of other philosophical inquiry.

As an investigation of difference and multiplicity, Tilford’s drawings dissect hierarchy, identity, and representation through an approach to the process of drawing regarded as a kind of writing. His people and crowds are part of a world in constant flux; where encounters and events cannot be totalized and, as Tilford states, “what remains is the uncertainty of the face – an uncertainty as to whether it is coming together or breaking apart.”

For Tilford, the drawings become an illustration of the dynamic unconscious, rejecting the notion of a unified, rational and expressive subject and transforming into a free dispersed, multiple reconstituting new types of subjectivity. 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. The interaction of their components gives rise to new interactions and new meanings.

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