KEITH TYSON (b. 1969)
Keith Tyson (born Keith Thomas Bower, 23 August 1969) is an English artist. In 2002, he was the winner of the Turner Prize. His work is concerned with an interest in generative systems, and an embrace of the complexity and interconnectedness of existence. Tyson works in a wide range of media, including painting, drawing and installation.
In 1989, he began an art foundation course at the Carlisle College of Art, and the following year he moved south to take up a place on experimental Alternative Practice degree at The Faculty of Arts and Architecture, University of Brighton (1990–93).
During the 1990s, Tyson’s practice was dominated by the Artmachine, which was the first means through which Tyson explored his ongoing interest in randomness, causality, and the question of how things come into being. The Artmachine was a method Tyson developed which used a combination of computer programmes, flow charts and books in order to generate chance combinations of words and ideas, which were then realised in practice as artworks in a wide range of media.
The results of the Artmachine became the basis of Tyson’s earliest exhibited artworks; The Artmachine Iterations, as these works became known, established Tyson’s reputation in the UK and internationally as an original artist and thinker, and by 1999 he had mounted solo exhibitions in London, New York, Paris and Zürich, as well as contributed to group shows throughout Europe, North America and Australia.
From 1999, Tyson’s interests practice turned from the Artmachine towards an artistic approach which explored the same thematic terrain, but this time directly by his own hand. The first such body of work was entitled Drawing and Thinking. Many of these works were installed in the international exhibition in the 2001 Venice Biennale
In 2002, Tyson mounted Supercollider at South London Gallery and then the Kunsthalle Zürich in Switzerland. The name of the exhibition, derived from the popular name for the CERN particle accelerator in Geneva, indicated the significance of scientific ways of seeing and thinking about the world to Tyson’s art at this time.
In December 2002, Tyson was awarded the British visual arts award, the Turner Prize. The other shortlisted artists that year were Fiona Banner, Liam Gillick and Catherine Yass. The Turner Prize was notorious that year not so much for the controversial nature of the work of the shortlisted artists as in previous years, but because of the comments of then Culture Minister Kim Howells. His comments that the Turner Prize exhibition at Tate Britain consisted of "cold, mechanical, conceptual bullshit" were greeted with both approval and criticism in the media.
Keith Tyson's, Large Field Array, 2006, PaceWildenstein Gallery, New York
In 2005, The following year, Tyson first exhibited his most monumental and ambitious work to date, Large Field Array, in the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, which then travelled to the De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art in the Netherlands and The Pace Gallery in New York. In 2009 Tyson's work was shown at the Hayward Gallery as part of the group exhibition "Walking in My Mind".