Dean Byington’s suite of large-scale mixed media paintings channel the fantastical precision of centuries-old etchings and a vigilant appreciation for minute cartographic detail, like a Thomas Guide of the Grand Tour.
Simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar, utopian and dystopian, Dean Byington’s complex canvases are the result of a meticulously refined process that is both digital and analog. Byington begins by collaging photocopies of his own drawings in parallel with fragments from 18th and 19th Century prints.
“I have my impulses,” says the bearded, sturdy painter Dean Byington, gesturing at his nine immense black and white canvases in “Theory of Machines’’ at the Kohn Gallery. Looking at the pictures, you think, “These impulses are deeply sublimated.”
Dean Byington's work references religious conflict and terrorism in the Middle East and Western Europe alongside the damage wrought by human processes such as climate change and urban sprawl into previously uninhabited regions. On view at his new solo exhibition at Kohn Gallery will be the painting, Theory Of Machines (Grand Saturn), the third and most complex version of the Saturn series, which engages with issues of humanity’s impact on the world