Paul Kneale

American Night III, 2015

Digital Print on Linen

198.1 × 139.7 cm


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Artwork
Description

Paul Kneale’s scanner paintings relate to contemporary Western culture, which is tightly intertwined with digital technology. His practice calls into question the divide between digital and physical spheres, while reflecting on the nature of time.

The artist compares his use of scanner-printer machines to the traditional use of the paintbrush: in the same way as a brush and a pigment each have their own characteristics and potentialities, his consumer-grade scanners have individual personalities. Such particular tempers, combined with changing light conditions and the ‘productive misuse’ imposed on them by the artist, give birth to the impressive combinations of colour and texture that make up Kneale’s ‘Post-post-post-production’ series.

The layering of a fast, low resolution scan over a slow high resolution one allows for the feeling of depth which seems to draw a viewer deeper and deeper into the painting. ‘American Night III’ results from the scanner being exposed to the flickering darkness of a night-sky. The velvety waves on the top and bottom sections seem to suggest a meditative nocturnal seascape.

About
the artist

Born in 1986 in Canada, Paul Kneale received his MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art (London) in 2011 and has been working closely with ARTUNER since early 2015. Work by Kneale have been included in the exhibition Peindre la Nuit at Centre Pompidou Metz (October 2018), Contemporary Photography Forum exhibition of the Boca Raton Museum (Florida, USA), the Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, the Rubell Family Collection and at the prestigious Thetis Gardens in the Arsenale Novissimo (Venice), in a group exhibition on view during La Biennale di Venezia 57°. He lives and works in Toronto.

Paul Kneale is interested in how the world is constantly translated into a digital language which simplifies, trivialises and depersonalises content and the people it addresses. The artist explores the way in which digital facets of our existence can be manifested and reimagined in the flesh of the physical object. The artist has been manipulating cheap scanners to generate a unique way of painting. Rather than capturing an image, the scanner creates an impression of the ambient light within the artist’s studio, bearing the abstract visual trace of the atmosphere surrounding the machine. The process is integral to his new works: the scanner paintings are built up from unique impressions and display multiple layers and striations often between transparent sheets and the colours resulting from varying light conditions in the artist’s studio.

The contrast between machines and their serial products results in what Paul Kneale defines as the “new abject”. In response to Julia Kristeva’s 1980 text ‘Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection’, the artist identifies a “new abject” for the information technology. Describing today’s inherent revulsion for brand new materials, he pinpoints a disorientation in the consciousness of time and location, caused by our immaterial inhabitation of new technologies. This sentiment is embodied in works which often address, in original and innovative ways and media, the simultaneity and layering occurring in our ever-linked virtual existences. Kneale, in an interview with i-D, defines the Internet as ‘a whole way of being in the world’. His practice aims at investigating the role of art in this new enigmatic dimension. Paul Kneale is an artist that explores the possible physical manifestations of the digital. His oeuvre reflects on the implications of algorithms and information flux. While these may seem very abstract entities, they constitute and shape our domestic daily environment. To follow Paul Kneale and receive exclusive updates, click here.


Kneale is interested in how the world is constantly translated into a digital language which simplifies, trivialises and depersonalises content and the people it addresses. The artist explores the way in which digital facets of our existence can be manifested and reimagined in the flesh of the physical object.


Paul Kneale
on Artuner

Part of the
exhibition

September 24th, 2015 until
November 13th, 2015
Curated by ARTUNER