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Sunday Salon 25  |  Nick Kennedy  |   The Natural Behaviour of Things

Saturation Point, Deptford, London  |   5 March 2023

©Copyright Patrick Morrissey and Clive Hancock  All rights reserved.

For his Sunday Salon Kennedy presents a selection of recent work in a variety of media including drawing, painting and sculpture. Through his work Kennedy deploys technology and materials systematically to set up experiments that engage with human constructs such as time and systems of value, which shape and define our experience of the world. His measured, process-based approach to making often plays out through the lens of the chance procedure, lending the work a flawed, absurdist quality. Kennedy’s work playfully parodies science, sharing its aim to unearth truths about the natural world and our relationship with it.

Drawing and its inherent temporality is a key thread that weaves its way through Kennedy’s work; from a recent series of works on paper, each produced in collaboration with machines over a single day, to a pair of new kinetic sculptures that will draw for decades and outlive the artist. His Chronogene sculptures act like abstract clocks, embodying the passage of time. Referring to both a history and a future of time, their carefully poised spring-like hands dance and rhythmically flick a trace of silver across a gesso surface on their cyclical journey. This slow drawing process will unfold over a lifetime, gradually revealing a geometric order concealed by the chaotic gestural action of the mechanism.

A new body of reductive paintings, entitled
The Natural Behaviour of Things, is constructed from a library of symbols and glyphs created by the artist, which visually recall elements of both early 20th century Suprematism and the contemporary visual language of the digital icon. Structurally, the work departs from the artist's ongoing body of Dice Drawings, which employ a chance-based process of composition, involving the repetitive roll of a dice many hundreds or thousands of times. Drawing upon the foundational ideas of Quantum physics, complexity, determinism and order, the artist imagines an abstract world which recasts the accidental moment as a crucial part within an broad, interconnected scheme. Small symbols represent all nature, human life, language, atoms, quanta; reorganised according to a new system of reciprocal order and flawed, indeterminate harmony. Everything meets every other thing. Each part finds its opposite and equal.