Mesmerizing Pixelated Motifs Emerge from Sci-Fi Narratives in Drawings by Matthew Craven



Art

#drawing
#Matthew Craven
#paper
#science fiction

June 11, 2024

Grace Ebert

“STAR OF THE UNBORN” (2024), pencil and ink on found paper, 16 x 20 inches

Neuromancer is one of the first science-fiction novels characterized as cyberpunk, a dystopic mix of rapidly advanced technologies and mass societal collapse. Written by William Gibson and published in 1984, the book has become a cult classic lauded for how it doesn’t reach toward a distant future but rather envisions “the real present,” a version of the stark inequities and nightmarish times we’re already living in.

The novel is a starting point for a new kaleidoscopic drawing by Matthew Craven. A bright, symmetric motif fills the paper—a found substrate once belonging to a ragged paperback or movie poster—and appears almost pixelated, despite being rendered in a faint grid with ink. On view at Asya Geisberg Gallery, the meticulous work is one in a larger series included in Rendezvous with Rama, a title that references another sci-fi classic by Arthur C. Clarke.

Considering the timeless universality of patterns and forms, the exhibition questions the recognizable and known through trippy works that capture both cyber structures and analog techniques. Smaller motifs embedded in the larger works evoke distant planets, explosions, and even an alphabet made of non-decipherable characters. “Craven’s central insight is that the unfamiliar must always be couched in the understood, just as science fiction can dream up a futuristic or alien world only by relating back to what we can easily observe,” a statement from the gallery says.

If you’re in New York, stop by Asya Geisberg Gallery through July 6 to see Rendezvous with Rama, which also includes the artist’s own copies of the books referenced. Find Craven’s prints and originals in his shop, and follow his latest works on Instagram.

 

a vibrant symmetric motif rendered on gridded paper

“NEUROMANCER” (2024), pencil and ink on found paper, 24 x 18 inches

a vibrant symmetric motif rendered on gridded paper in the shape of a circle

“SOLARIS.” (2024), pencil and ink on found paper, 20 x 15 inches

a vibrant symmetric motif rendered on gridded paper

“HYPERION.” (2024), pencil and ink on found paper, 40 x 30 inches

a vibrant symmetric motif rendered on gridded paper

“THE PALACE OF ETERNITY.” (2024), pencil and ink on found paper, 60 x 40 inches

a vibrant symmetric motif rendered on gridded paper

“MICROMEGAS.” (2024), pencil and ink on found paper, 22.5 x 33 inches

Detail of “STAR OF THE UNBORN” (2024), pencil and ink on found paper, 16 x 20 inches

a vibrant symmetric motif rendered on gridded paper in a circle

“CHAPTERHOUSE.” (2024), pencil and ink on found paper, 48 x 40 inches

#drawing
#Matthew Craven
#paper
#science fiction

 

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