First Floor Gallery, Center for Arts and Learning, May 3 – July 6, 2019
Receptions May 3rd, 4-8pm and June 6th, 4-9pm
Ned Richardson’s work explores landscape – envisioning the natural world as it connects and intersects with the digital landscape we now inhabit. Both have a presence in Richardson’s paintings and drawings, as do both traditional and extremely non-traditional art processes.
For his glass micro paintings, Richardson experimented with Generative Adversarial Networks. A GAN is a neural network-based ‘deep learning’ system, with open-source code widely available on the internet; these are systems set up in pairs to learn to identify and generate specific kinds of images through input of a massive data set. The networks work off of each other to ‘learn’ to generate their own versions of the images fed to them – for example, making their own image that looks like a landscape – based on feedback and critique from a second network. Here, Richardson input several of his own images and had the system generate work ‘like’ his to use as source material for the paintings (which are then manipulated not through Photoshop, but painstakingly by hand).
Richardson’s series of mesh-dot drawings explore imaginary datasets, drawn by hand. If you can describe a landscape scientifically through an accumulation of data points, a drawing of that data is, in a sense, a description of the imagined world it measures. These very analog pen-and-ink drawings are abstract, but suggest the emergent mathematical patterns in a flock of birds or the growth of wildflowers.
Ned Richardson lives and works in Moretown, and his work can regularly be seen at the Front gallery in Montpelier. He has been making art since the 1990s, and has explored media ranging from egg tempera painting to digital and video-based work influenced by conceptual art.