February 2008, Keith Tyson @ Pace Wildenstein

 Keith Tyson, Large Field Array, 2007, installation view, courtesy of Pace Wildenstein, NYC

Keith Tyson, Large Field Array
Pace Wildenstein, NYC
September 8 through October 20, 2007

Walking into a black curtain I stepped into Keith Tyson’s Large Field Array at Pace Wildenstein, NYC and was able to embrace what it would feel like to be in an unedible Wonka Land. It was surprising to learn that this exhibit was envisioned by a single artist. Large Field Array focuses on how the simple geometric shape of a three dimensional cube becomes a complex thought by what fills the squares or how they are presented. Keith Tyson uses 230 separate sculptural forms and an unspecified grid. Each sculptural form is roughly gridded as two foot squared, with four foot intervals. I’ll use the word “unresolved” here because some of the pieces are an exact two foot cube with four foot intervals, and other pieces work smaller within the two foot cube and four foot interval, or have an extension off of the sculptures. This unresolved floor plan could relay a message of a constant state of change or emptiness of not knowing, almost parallel to how we do not know all of life’s mysteries.

 Keith Tyson, Large Field Array, 2007, installation view, courtesy of Pace Wildenstein, NYC  
Large Field Array has a theme of an evolutionary state of change and the benefactors of social culture, but each piece is calculated so skillfully that the pieces themselves are in their own world. The involvement within the 230 separate sculptural forms is both realistic and illusory. You can see the relationship between the sculptural forms as relative to a world event, but the illusory aspect is that there’s an unimaginable twist on the sculptures: brains, a pig, an Indian Yogi pressed and contorted in a glass cube, Magic Johnson, Thomas Edison and red Hollywood stars. The relationship between the pieces is playfully meaningful: A spinning revolution that starts off with a cracking sound from time to time and an ever running roulette table with a drooling goat above that has a pentagram carved in its head. In a section of the exhibition there is a lamb with arrows facing a crossbow, elephant made of mice, and a white box. There’s a sleeping cat by the fire and a flesh cube accessorized with hair and tattoos. The pieces are delusionally real. I’d like to see what happens when everyone goes home. Large Field Array is a puzzle of endless conclusion.


Irma Cannavo

Irma Cannavo is a freelance journalist in New York.

view all articles from this author