Cats, Flowers, Vignettes
- Acrylic on canvas
- 48" x 33"
"Ever present in my work is the inspiration derived from needlepoint designs. Like the process of mechanical plotting, needlepoint designs function on a grid in a similar way. Meticulous detail and meditative patience goes into producing rather simple imagery often laden with a sense of comfort, home, and peaceful pleasantries. This particular composition translates the essence of needlepoint into a delightful scene inherent with contrast and interference earned through its translation and time— it asks for your quiet attention and observation.
My paintings are constructed with a custom-built Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine. This machine is composed of an axis-bound mechanical arm that holds a brush and moves across a 3ft x 4ft workspace laying down paint, one stroke at a time. These paintings are built, layer by layer, over thousands of lines of code to create an evolving, intricate, textural surface. The machine doesn't do this work alone. I monitor and guide it through the process, taking stock of errors and mishaps to embrace as part of the final piece.
A cross between photography and a Jacquard loom, the process echoes printmaking techniques and traditional crafts like needlepoint and weaving, creating hybrid paintings that connect traditional methods of art to emerging technology. While the process is based on the language of computer 1s & 0s, the final result reflects the magical, textural qualities of paint."
- Natan Lawson
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Natan Lawson generates paintings that each appear like a hybrid between an intricately woven tapestry and a futuristic computer-generated image. His works are at once nostalgic and ultramodern, tactile and digital. They offer up familiar imagery in a frayed high-tech world.
Lawson collects and contemplates life’s remnants—culling motifs from his personal archive of needlepoint designs, alphabet charts, disposable plates, cursive homework sheets, and other domestic paper ephemera. The artist uses a custom-built Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine to translate these found visuals onto canvas. Holding a brush, a robotic arm paints one acrylic mark at a time according to thousands of lines of code. This grid-based meditative method recalls craft techniques like needlepoint, cross-stitch, and weaving. Monitoring and guiding the equipment, Lawson embraces rather than corrects the natural imperfections that paradoxically arise in automatic modes of production. He is part of a generation of contemporary artists who are investigating the fertile ground between the hand-made and the mechanical—ruminating in turn on other dichotomies between tradition and rebellion, order and chaos, death and rebirth.