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Panta Rhei: Recent Paintings by Keith Tyson

  • ´Panta Rhei´ is a 57 x 50 cm oil painting, on a found painting by Keith Tyson. The original painting was a scene of a sailing boat and was found in a second hand shop, which the artist has painted over with a contemporary harbour scene. ´In that little Panta Rhei painting where I have painted boats over an old sailing scene, two artists and two events that occurred a century apart have been woven together into a single surface, like a wave interference pattern... I simply find that poetic´

    . The idea of a world in perpetual motion is a fundamental concept within the work of Tyson, and expresses the essence of this exhibition entitled Panta Rhei, translated from Ancient Greek to mean ´everything flows´, the Pace Gallery, London. 


    His series of Nature paintings had one surface resembling a distorted map surface, gently undulating like the surface of the sea. The coastline distorted, obliterated and overpainted in bright but essentially flat colours. Panta Rei is reminiscent of the flatness of the nature paintings, but with visible brushstrokes instead of the characteristically natural forms. Almost a comment on materializing space in terms of historical and current land use, contrasting with abstracted and unfocused experience.


    Rhapsody for Random Walks, (2010 - 2012), oil on Aluminium, 228.5 cm x 228.5 cm, seems to be a visual extension on earlier work, such as the Studio Wall Drawings

    . At the Private View the artist was overheard commenting to his children that this was his favourite painting in the exhibition, and it is to me apparent why. It is heavily layered with information to the extent that it is difficult to perceive a beginning or an end to the the process of its creation. References to historical geographical mapmaking in the form of the location roses, and the coastline edges are apparent, in conjunction with contemporary american motorway route 15. It is a blend of place and time to become ubiquitous in essence.

    Within painterly style and the handling of paint, the work transcends the moment and has at places references to faded and discoloured maps, abstract expressionist brushwork and signatory blobs of paint, pop art outlining of marks almost capturing a splash of water in motion. It is a painting in constant flux yet seemingly rooted in historic reference, which it is constantly rewarding with its layering of information. By taking the time to experience its complexity, one is both acknowledging the past, focused in the present and anticipating the future of the moment. In the press release, Tyson explains that ´in the past, I´ve always tried to represent what I call the ´Field´, which for me, is the myriad of networks - whether physical, conceptual or emotional - that make the present moment. All these systems combined form our interdependent world.´


    I highly recommend a visit to this exhibition, and encourage you to take the time to enjoy all of the layers of complexity within the paintings.

    Natasha is a Practising Artist researching for a Phd on Contemporary Landscape.


    Panta Rhei: Recent Paintings by Keith Tyson

    7 February - 28 March 2013

    6 Burlington Gardens

    London W1S 3ET