Artist Embraces the Digital World

The geometric shapes on the walls of the Tremaine Art Gallery showcase the work of a pioneer in the field of digital art. On March 26, the gallery presented “Unstructured Structures,” featuring the works of local artist Mark Wilson GP ‘19, which were all designed using computer software.
Wilson began writing his own software in the 1980s, when the use of technology was in its infancy in the art world. From a young age, Wilson was interested in painting and drawing. His interest in photography later inspired him to combine art and technology in new ways. Wilson said, “My interest in photography and the technical issues of developing and printing definitely anticipated my willingness to attempt to make art with computers.”
Many of his works feature geometric patterns such as circles, boxes and rectangular series of parallel lines in combinations which are generated by a computer. Wilson said, “I’m juggling these various algorithms – these recipes – in my software, adding a bit more here, taking some away there. I could almost describe my working process as ‘Algorithmic Expressionism.’”
Computers inherently appeal to Wilson, who began integrating them into his artistic process long before such a thing was popular. Wilson said, “To me, these machines were totally cool and exciting. I was trying to find a unique way of using the computer and software to create geometric images.”
The works in “Unstructured Structures” appear both chaotic and orderly. Summer Liu ’20, who attended the exhibit, said, “I found the method of Mark Wilson’s expression very interesting. The selected randomness, including both [in terms of] color and stylistic choices, creates an illusion of depth and distance that draws in the viewers to these paintings.”
This exhibition will run until May 5.