Paul Kneale

Sfumato FML, 2018

Inkjet on Canvas

210.8 x 147.3 cm


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Artwork
Description

Paul Kneale’s awareness of the trivialisation of reality through its digitalisation is at the core of his artistic practice. As the tangible shifts to becoming intangible, the artist questions the place of technology in the arts and what changes it brings to representation and aesthetic at large.

In the series Sfumato, Paul Kneale combines his signature scanner painting style with the appearance of a traditional painterly technique, allowing both of them to coexist on the surface of his large scale canvases.

Sfumato looks back to Kneale’s older works, American Night (2015) in particular, in which the artist addressed Hollywood’s recreation of night-time scenarios through the paradoxical over-lighting of the filming set. For Sfumato, however, Kneale exposed the scanner’s bed to Florida’s natural, yet very intense, indirect light – conveying the brightness of the environment through the presence of minimal shadows in the final scan transfer.

The shades of grey blend one into the other in a soft composition, pushing the idea of the scans as paintings in a conceptual evolution.

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.

His latest works are currently on show in the Contemporary Photography Forum exhibition of the Boca Raton Museum. In the past year, his works have been featured in 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.

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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

May 3rd, 2018 until
May 31st, 2018
Curated by ARTUNER