Judith Stenneken, video still from Staircase, 2018
Flowers Gallery New York is pleased present yes no maybe, a group exhibition curated by Rebecca Reeve. Featuring works by Michael Kidner, Beryl Korot, Manfred Mohr, Jack Smith and Judith Stenneken.
The artists in this exhibition are bound by their use of experimentation in devising rules by which to generate algorithmic form. Art created by a process analogous to the practice of mathematics, which is based on mathematical principles but is not an illustration of a mathematical formula. The artist is not using pure mathematics but rather building patterns of rhythms and relationships, based on laws that have their own aesthetic and origin. In his seminal 1949 essay, Max Bill upheld that elementary mathematical patterns were embedded in the cosmos, underlying all human order and were present in all the structures that we recognized.
"I am convinced of the possibility of developing art in which the mathematical way of thinking is fundamental. The art does not represent the surface of things, but rather the underlying cosmic structure. The art presents the overall view of the world that we have today. The art does not depict nature, but rather creates new systems that make visible the underlying patterns."
– Max Bill, The Mathematical Way of Thinking in the Art of our Time, 1949
The title of this exhibition yes no maybe is a reference to Bayes’ Theorem - the mathematical theory of probability which was first outlined in An Essay Towards Solving a Problem in the Doctrine of Chances published by the Reverend Thomas Bayes in 1763. The theorem defined a rule for refining a hypothesis by factoring in additional evidence and background information, leading to a number representing the degree of probability that the hypothesis is true. In an era in which ‘post-truth’ is becoming one of the defining words of our time, in which the specified concept has become unimportant or irrelevant, it seemed timely to examine the work of five artists whose methodology is based around the incorporation and adherence to a given information system and structure.