Scott Lyall

16 October to 22 November 2014


For this exhibition, Scott Lyall presents print-works on linen and glass that relate to his investigation of possibilities and limits of wide format UV-printing using digital colour profiles. Each adapts techniques of colour compression and sublimation. “Compression” implies the fact that digital colour is economized: the colour space is structured for efficiencies of transmission in which aesthetics have been a secondary, and very recent, acquisition. “Sublimation” refers to a process of super-heating the inks, transforming them into vapour in order to set them in the print. Together, the two techniques enfold a dialectical code. The colours are not derived from existing analog sources, or from the blocks of graphic design that already populate our screens. They are summoned by the artist from a state of full compression where, paradoxically, digital colour is transacted free of light. Using scripts of carefully selected fades of colour, Lyall defines each work’s support in terms of colour modulation. Cangiante, sfumato, atmospheric perspective, glazing (...): each technique returns from its abandonment by modernism and particularly by the reduction of abstract painting to the plane.

“They are images of distance (negentropic speculations) that seem to reflect the light of stars beyond unfathomable horizons. Dead stars, I should say. This is regained or remembered colour. But I wonder about these worlds that turned to gas as they exploded, before their darkness joined the lining of both the universe and our soul.”
Lyall will also present a number of smaller works on glass through which a similar process of printing is used to very different effects. These almost-black “lenses” absorb most of the printed colour and seem to emphasize the print-work as the deposit of a grain. By capturing portions of light as subtle tones beneath the surface, the glass extends the range of Lyall’s reflection on colour into the gap of historical difference between painting and photography.