Random Order

May 9–June 15, 2003 320 West 13th Street

Press Release

RANDOM ORDER, curated by Lauren Ross

Random Order presents abstract work that combines the use of a set formula or equation with a random or uncontrolled element. In abstract paintings and drawings, the emerging artists in this exhibition explore various systems including mathematics (geometry and physics); information and communication (language and computer code); and biology (neurological systems and memory). While basing their work in such structured arrangements, they exert their individuality in various ways; through the use of personal invention and variations on the norm, showing the evidence of the path of the hand, or embracing the truly random. By questioning the apparent dichotomy of the knowable vs. haphazard, these artists follow the model of chaos theory that finds pattern in frenzied experience. All share a creative process in which they operate within predetermined specifications, simultaneously respecting the rules and testing the limits of their self-inflicted terms.

Marc Brotherton shows paintings from his “Encoded Plug-In” series, based on plug-ins designed for use on the web. Inventing his own form of coded language, Brotherton often includes messages in the work, secretly present but indecipherable to the viewer. Henry Brown’s paintings are each based on a single numerical formula, whose plotted points and lines remain visible after the paint is applied. With a stark simplicity, their compositions play with geometric forms and illusionistic recession of space. Jennifer Dailey makes freehand drawings of gridded dots joined by connecting lines. This network of forms serves as a metaphor for individuals linked by societal structure, while the repetitive gestures in her work serve as a record of the passage of time. Pamela Harris draws in pastel and charcoal with a single gestural mark, repeated over and over again. She sees the resulting abstractions as mirroring various systems, including neurological processes. Karla Hoepfner’s drawings are composed of two basic layers: the first carefully charts formulas from such sources as quantum physics and probability theory. Above this is a second layer, applied in a manner completely out of the artist’s control; splattered paint that has been thrown into the air and allowed to land on the paper. Tohru Kanayama presents small works on paper that are created digitally by layering approximately 60 normal keyboard characters on top of one another, and then using additional software features to further abstract the overlapping images. The process is essentially blind, as the artist does not know how the piece will look until the final activation of the “merge” function. John J. O’Connor makes drawings that obsessively plot data and systems, ranging from hair loss and weather patterns to language. Two large drawings in this exhibition explore a common theme in O’Connor’s work: memory loss. Taney Roniger shows paintings from the “Concatenations” series, based on strings of linked or connected things. Small holes punched into the iridescent surfaces of painted panels form abstract patterns that resemble computer circuit boards as well as chromosomal strands. Roland Thompson paints on geometrically shaped aluminum grounds. Using single uninterrupted lines, his paint strokes begin on the perimeter and then spiral in on themselves. Thompson values the deviations that inevitably occur in his attempt to mimic a prescripted shape.

About the curator: Lauren Ross is the Director/Chief Curator of White Columns.

This exhibition runs concurrently with White Room exhibitions by Charley Friedman and A.J. Bocchino

Opening Reception: Friday May 9, 7 – 9 p.m.
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 12 – 6 p.m.

For more information, please contact the gallery.


Invitation for "Random Order," "White Room: Charley Friedman," "White Room: A.J. Bocchino"
Invitation for "Random Order," "White Room: Charley Friedman," "White Room: A.J. Bocchino"
Invitation for "Random Order," "White Room: Charley Friedman," "White Room: A.J. Bocchino"
Invitation for "Random Order," "White Room: Charley Friedman," "White Room: A.J. Bocchino"