Keith Tyson

Keith Tyson was born in 1969 and is an English artist. Tyson works in a wide range of media, including painting, drawing and installation, in this blog post I will focus on his works in painting. Similarly to Allison Katz Tyson does not want to be bound by one particular artistic style or theme and instead reacts to what is around him including drawing influence ranging from mathematics and science through to poetry and mythology. Interestingly, I hadn’t realised this before I chose the below image to look at more closely, but ‘Entropy’ was actually the palette that Tyson had been using between 2016-19 from which these flowers organically emerged. Aptly titled, ‘Entropy’ is often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system.

Keith Tyson, Entropy, 2016–19 © Keith Tyson

Tyson has painted a series of paintings using flowers as the focus, however whilst reading this interview between Tyson and Mark Rappolt, here he explains how they are much more than that, there is importance in the process of producing the painting. The influences of poetry and mathematics transform the initial inspiration of the flowers into something more, with a narrative and story behind it. We can see in the bottom right hand corner of ‘Entropy’ the actual formula for entropy itself hidden away.

I started this work by painting in the blue speckled back ground and then slowly adding in the darker warm tones underneath adding in layers of colour over time.

I really enjoyed creating my response to Tyson’s work, as I was working with oil paints I left it a day or two between layers so they could dry and harden somewhat, it felt like a slow and steady process. It also felt freeing, splodging the paint and just trying to gauge colour and location to dab away on the board. As opposed to creating a scene or portrait, this work, even though figuratively resembles flowers and foliage felt quite abstract as I was painting. Although I have just noticed the sublte absence of the equation!

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