The Unfolding: New painting by Claudia Hart,
Haynes Projects, Chicago, IL,
Sep 3 – Oct 10, 2021
Text by Haynes Projects director, Jessica Cochran
The Unfolding is an exhibition of new still life paintings by Claudia Hart. Widely exhibited internationally and online, this is Hart’s first solo presentation of paintings in Chicago. The artist calls these works “digital combines.” They are an assessment of our current moment, asserting a new version of authenticity: painting for the age of the computer.
In what has been called “flirtatious simulation of forgery,” Hart uses computer modeling to render copy-right protected works by Modernist patriarchs — Picasso, Matisse, and Morandi—in a parallel symbolic space. Meticulously composed by hand using custom software, and re-interpreted with her own attention to color, light, and surface, we understand these works as dreamlike and disembodied, intermingling the physical world with an imaginary VR game space.
Each unique work is generated from a Jpeg, created with a computer-driven airbrush machine, and using archival pigments on rare hardwood panels. As appropriations themselves, the works in The Unfolding toy with the issues of copyright that date their origins to the Modernist response to photography. Hart therefore calls these pieces “combines,” following the lead of Robert Rauschenberg. But while Rauschenberg combined painting with a physical sculpture, Hart combines hers with a digital simulation, minted as an NFT with blockchain certification.