An exploration of the fascinating intersection between code-based generative art and the flat, geometric concerns of graphic design and printed media.
Somewhere there is a Venn diagram where the collectors of art, vinyl, and vintage posters overlap. The same goes for the creators in each medium, all of whom must lean into what it means to put an image on a flat plane. To render the full breadth of the imagination into two-dimensional space.
Strong geometric shapes collide and colors cascade. Pixels accrue and abstract forms take shape. Composition is king. And while the results extend from minimalism to maximalism, what often unifies the different pieces is the pursuit of balance.
For the inaugural show of Dawn Contemporary, the official gallery arm of the open Alba minting platform, we are pleased to present Flatlands, an exploration of the fascinating intersection between code-based generative art and the flat, geometric concerns of graphic design and printed media.
Running from June 20-30, 2023, Flatlands features nine artists from across the generative art world, including fx(hash) stalwarts and Art Blocks all-stars. It is our great honor to announce them in order of release: Rev Dan Catt, Chris McCully, Zolfaqqari, Torsten Sauer, Alessandro Fiore, Nadieh Bremer, Gorilla Sun, Jess Hewitt, & CyberSea.
Taken together, their projects reference a vast array of styles and mediums, from screen printing, poster design, and comic books to Matisse's paper cuts, Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture, pop art, and the paintings of the Italian Futurist Movement.
BANG! by CyberSea
Boundary Issues by Jess Hewitt
For decades, modern painters have interrogated what to do with the flatness of the canvas, making paintings about painting and paintings in conversation with other paintings. But when your art form happens on a screen, what does it mean for a digital artist to wrestle with their medium? Is it in the code? The pixels? The display tech? From hard geometries to swirling blobs, the artists of Flatlands continue that inquiry to find new technical and aesthetic solutions, fresh avenues for exploration.
FALLiNGWATER by Rev Dan Catt
Zone Harmonics by Chris McCully
For Dawn Contemporary's first online exhibition, the choice of flatness and graphic design as a focal point also gently pushes back on one of the most ubiquitous trends in generative art over the last two years: simulating the look of traditional abstract art, with an emphasis on paper grain and complex, textural brushstrokes.
Both paper and brushstrokes can act as a familiar proxy, a simulacrum, to help viewers bridge the gap in their appreciation from the physical art they're already familiar with to more recent developments in digital art — a much needed effort to bring new faces into the space. But as a movement, generative art needs to take risks and stretch beyond the familiar, to test the boundaries of technology and good taste, or it risks stagnating while we rubberneck at some mythical bygone era.
Fleeting Thoughts by Nadieh Bremer
Spazio/Colore by Alessandro Fiore
So, welcome to the Flatlands. Roll down your car windows and let's hit the highway. We're in search of a new visual grammar, the roads less taken, undiscovered lands on the algorithmic horizon. The view is good; the air is fresh. Let the cluttered ones and zeroes of the city fall away. There's plenty of room out here, and a lot of adventuring still to be done.