TOM HACKNEY |  Open Ground

September 8 - October 20, 2017



In the Project Space, British artist Tom Hackney will present Open Ground, a new collection of monochrome paintings included in his ongoing series, Chess Paintings (2009-present). These monochromes are comprised of gesso or primers, paints that traditionally lie beneath a visible surface, where structural materiality takes precedence over an observable aesthetic. The works in this series are an examination of the challenges posed, particularly to painting, by Marcel Duchamp’s designation of a non-retinal art.

Working from Duchamp’s archived chess notation, Hackney transcribes the constituent moves of a selected game into a single, multilayered painting. A linen or canvas support is first divided into the eight-by-eight square grid of a chessboard. The path of each move is then masked and marked sequentially in a layer of paint. As the game progresses, these layers begin to overlap and overlay, resulting in a painted palimpsest of variable density, composed of layers of orthogonal and diagonal sections delineated by ridges of paint. At the end of the game, the squares of the board that remain uncrossed are left unpainted, leaving visible areas of the material support.

Tom Hackney completed his MFA at Goldsmiths in 2008. Recent exhibitions include Cross Section 04, dalla Rosa Gallery London (2017); Fountain - An Homage, Francis Naumann Fine Art, New York (2017); Formwork, dalla Rosa Gallery, London (2016); The Thought Game (solo), Kunsthaus Marcel Duchamp, Cully, Switzerland (2016); Corresponding Squares: Painting the Chess Games of Marcel Duchamp (solo), Francis Naumann Fine Art, New York and World Chess Hall of Fame, St. Louis (2016); Reduction, ZS Art, Vienna (2015); Compression, Ormston House, Limerick (2015); John Moores Painting Prize, Walker Gallery, Liverpool (2014); Tremors (solo), Breese Little, London (2013). Hackney lives and works in London.