Rob and Nick Carter

Sud de la France

3 September – 1 October 2022
De Buck Gallery, Saint-Paul-de-Vence
50 Chemin des Trious, 06570 Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France

Following a residency earlier this summer in Saint-Paul de Vence, in the South of France, Rob and Nick Carter are delighted to announce a new exhibition at De Buck Gallery.

Artists have always used the tools at their disposal and Rob and Nick Carter have a unique talent for employing new technologies while preserving artisanal traditions and techniques. This exhibition continues their fascination with AI and robotics, showcasing groundbreaking new works made with their two robots. Using these unique and groundbreaking methods, the artists pay homage to the works of modern masters associated with the area around the gallery.

For their research they revisited The Matisse Chapel, The Picasso Museum in Antibes, The Chagall Museum and the infamous Colombe d’Or, as well as further locations where the modern masters painted and frequented. Following in their footsteps, Rob and Nick Carter consciously chose to paint still lifes and landscapes inspired by their visit, taking photographs as source material. In the unique method they have originated, these photographic images are processed into a coded sequence of brushstrokes to be executed by their specially-equipped robot using conventional paints and brushes. The results are loosely-painted acrylics on board, entirely untouched by human hand from blank board to finished work. With this body of work Rob and Nick Carter  have skilfully brought nature and technology together.

Also, on show are five, almost identical robot paintings after Van Gogh’s (1853-1890) Sunflowers (from the National Gallery, London). Each transcription of this masterpiece was executed in 49 hours, 3 minutes, and 3 seconds of continuous autonomous painting by the robot — 9,153 brushstrokes from start to finish. On close examination very small differences are apparent which add to the appeal for the viewer, making each painting unique.

Rob and Nick’s second robot has been employed to create works by ‘drawing with light’ in their darkroom, referencing photographs taken by Gjon Mili (1904-84) and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Man Ray’s Space Writing series (1935) and Bruce Nauman’s Light Trap for Henry Moore (1941). 

All these new light works are a continuation of the artists’ 25-year fascination with ‘painting with light’. Following the artists’ visit to the Matisse Chapel Rob and Nick were inspired by Matisse’s very simple line drawings and embarked on recreating these in light. The resulting films and still photographs are taken with a long exposure from a fixed camera position, capturing the robot drawing in space with light. These works will be presented as limited edition prints and as unique NFTs.

Works included: