bitforms gallery is pleased to present Storms, a suite of new video works by Quayola. In his third solo exhibition with the gallery, the artist extrapolates on his research surrounding the tradition of landscape painting. Storms focuses on the pictorial substance of plein air studies with tools of advanced technologies.
The action, color, and choreography of exhibited works are generated by a dataset sourced from ultra-high-definition footage of stormy seas in Cornwall, England. For Quayola, as well as master painters of the past, nature is a universal space to be explored when seeking a connection with reality. The aesthetics of Storms take inspiration from the likes of J.M.W. Turner, though the artist’s intention is not mimetic. His visual connections derive from the conception of natural space as a dimension in which expansive movements manifest. While Turner ushered in energy through brushstroke, Quayola implements digital vectors fueled by algorithms to transform stillness into sudden waves. The resultant kinetic force teems in an exasperated flow between the natural and digital sublime.
Storms is intended as an exhibition of unfinished artworks that paint themselves over time. Although each video contains pictorial forms that crumble towards abstraction, the works maintain their connection with data as a driving force. Quayola uses algorithms to provoke the sea as if viewed for the first time; foreign, yet familiar. Each seascape blends mnemonic, historical, and retinal knowledge to comprise a painting made up of pixels.