Keith Coventry is known for his works which co-opt philosophical or art-theoretical positions as a way of testing and questioning the boundaries of such ideas.
His newest body of work, The Deontological Pictures, is an extension of this approach. These variations of black paintings – some much darker and others with undulations of lighter greys and browns – are produced by slavishly following a set of rules which, to the artist’s mind, safeguards against any wayward aesthetic or ethical judgement having taken place.
Each work has been made by adding black pigment to rainwater collected in Coventry’s studio from a leaky roof; the resulting mixture is then brushed onto the jute with a broom, left to dry flat on the floor, whereupon the material is stretched and framed. They have, the artist claims, ‘made themselves’.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition Keith Coventry: Deontological Pictures at PEER, London, 3 October – 1 December 2012.