Tyler Hobbs “QQL: Analogs”

The Pace Gallery (510 W 25th St)

poster for Tyler Hobbs “QQL: Analogs”

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508 West 25th Street

Pace Gallery presents QQL: Analogs, an exhibition of new work by leading generative artist, creative coder, and painter Tyler Hobbs.

Presented under the banner of Pace Verso, the gallery’s web3 hub, this show—on view from March 30 to April 22 at Pace’s 508 West 25th Street gallery in New York — will feature large-scale paintings based on Hobbs’ own experimentations with the new QQL NFT algorithm he developed in collaboration with fellow generative artist Dandelion Wist. QQL: Analogs will mark Pace’s first exhibition dedicated to an individual artist’s web3 project.

Hobbs—who is known for his virtuosic work in computational aesthetics—utilizes algorithms, mechanical plotters, and paint in his practice. One of his most acclaimed projects is the Fidenza NFT series, which was presented on the generative art platform Art Blocks, a partner of Pace Verso since 2022. Fidenza is widely regarded as a landmark generative art project, ushering in a new level of code complexity and compositional structure within generative and digital art. The artist’s work has been influenced as much by figures like Sol LeWitt and Agnes Martin—whose methodical approaches to art making, mathematically-minded compositions, and other contributions to Minimalism and Conceptualism influenced the rise of generative art in the mid 20th century—as the ever-expanding technological landscape. Hobbs, who studied Computer Science at the University of Texas, Austin, has exhibited at NFT.NYC; Art Dubai; the Seattle Art Fair; Bright Moments Gallery in New York; Unit London; and other international events and venues. His work has also figured in auctions by Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips.
Through the QQL project, Hobbs invites collectors to become co-creators of generative art NFTs in an innovative and collaborative process that harnesses the power of unpredictability and happenstance in web3. In September 2022, QQL launched a dedicated website, accessible at qql.art, that serves as a space for intuitive play where visitors can experiment with generating NFTs through Hobbs’ algorithm, using various bespoke tools that encourage interplay between elements of control and chance. Density, flow, and scale are among the mutable attributes that can be manipulated to explore a huge range of formal possibilities generated by the algorithm. Since it went live, the QQL website has seen 21.5 million QQL outputs from users around the world.

Hobbs’ forthcoming exhibition with Pace in New York—coinciding with the 2023 edition of NFT.NYC—will showcase 12 large-scale paintings that are physical representations of the artist’s own QQL outputs. Created using a combination of traditional painting techniques and robotic tools, including a plotter adapted with mechanical customizations by the artist himself, these works reflect enactments of both chaos and order, foregrounding the vast possibilities of systematic approaches to art making. As part of a process that unites programmed digital equipment with the human touch, Hobbs feeds code through the plotter to forge his compositions and then refines details by hand directly on the canvases. His resulting works feature a wide spectrum of visual effects, forms, and moods, from minimal to maximal and contemplative to exuberant.

While Hobbs’ paintings are derived from the QQL algorithm, they are also unique artworks in their own right, bearing aesthetic traces of both the machine and the artist’s paint strokes. Hobbs’ methodology for these works aligns with his deep interest in system-based artistic practices from the past century—in particular, the work of LeWitt, Martin, John Cage, Richard Diebenkorn, and Bridget Riley.

QQL: Analogs will be accompanied by an online exhibition—presented by Pace—that brings together QQLs minted by artists within and beyond the gallery’s program. Further details about this presentation will be released in the coming weeks.

Pace’s presentation of QQL: Analogs will coincide with Hobbs’ debut UK exhibition, Mechanical Hand, on view at Unit London from March 7 to April 6 and featuring new and recent paintings on canvas and drawings on paper by the artist. Revealing an intimate, contemplative side to his varied practice, Hobbs’ Unit London show meditates on synergistic relationships between humans and machines, focusing on the imaginative possibilities of these exchanges.

The artist’s complementary exhibitions in London and New York will shed light on his distinctive approach to abstraction: while Unit London’s show will offer a holistic view of the artist’s expansive formal experimentations in painting and drawing, Pace’s presentation will spotlight a new, singular body of work derived from his innovative QQL algorithm. Together, the two shows will mark an important moment in Hobbs’ career, showcasing the breadth of the artist’s practice as well as his deep and longstanding interest in system-based art making.

As the first major international art gallery to accept cryptocurrency for both digital and physical artworks, Pace made an early commitment to web3. With Pace Verso, the gallery builds on its 60-year history of innovation and ongoing support of artists who have cultivated advanced studio practices engaged with new technologies. Pace Verso has presented NFT projects by Jeff Koons, Tara Donovan, Loie Hollowell, John Gerrard, A.A. Murakami, Zhang Huan, Glenn Kaino, DRIFT, Lucas Samaras, and other artists in its first year, during which Pace Verso also launched a dedicated Discord server to directly engage web3 communities.



from March 30, 2023 to April 22, 2023


Tyler Hobbs

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