Central to Thompson’s practice is an inquiry into the production, distribution, and exhibition of painting. His projects, which often span several years, impose structures and constraints onto the making of his work. These limitations are in turn generative, resulting in exhaustive investigations into the medium of painting and the problems that surround it. Tying his works to mathematical and economic formulas, his own labor as an artist, and the architecture that his paintings occupy, Thompson enacts a tension between their formal qualities, and the larger systems of circulation they inhabit.
For the exhibition, Thompson continues his series of quantity paintings, in which a total volume of pigment proportionate to the surface area of the canvas is divided through the use of the random walk algorithm. The resulting portions dictate the amount of pigment applied in each gestural stroke, aiming to cover the surface of the canvas as quickly as possible. Here, the works are executed in formats that replicate the sixteen paintings that comprised Thompson’s 2015 exhibition at the gallery. Installed in the same manner, Thompson has made five monochromatic variations of each work, representing the primary colors (red, blue, and yellow), as well as value (white and black).
This framework provides the basis for a biometrically secure punch clock designed by Thompson that will cycle through each of the 152,587,890,625 unique combinations possible for the installation. The current state of the clock as the gallery staff punches in each morning determines a daily reinstallation of the works, pulled from temporary storage racks built into the gallery’s offices. This cycle complicates the perceived formal purity of the monochrome, as the works on view are tied equally to the sixty-four paintings held in the racks, as they are to their own contingent modes of presentation. Organized by an internal logic, and subsumed by the larger structures in which they circulate, the borders of the individual paintings lose their definition, leaving them eroded and exhausted.