|Robert Lansden In Every Direction, 2014|
The first word that comes to mind when describing Robert Lansden’s show In Every Direction at Robert Henry Contemporary is “obsessive.” This show is made up of twelve drawings on paper built from algorithms, a strange technical approach for an artist, that dictate the aesthetic direction for each series. In the case of In Every Direction, we are looking at twelve beautiful graph-like drawings that from a far look completely computer generated, but up close become nuanced and subtle as the handiwork becomes more apparent.
What makes this show especially personal is Lansden’s choice in medium. He chose to use marker, gauche, and watercolor for this series, which makes the subjects much more intimate. For example, in the piece In Every Direction, at first glance it looks as though we are looking at a large computer rendering of an unfolded scarf or piece of burlap, there are strange ripples on each side and creases coming from the center with meticulous symmetry. However, when we look closer we see Lansden’s handwriting emerging with each obsessive stroke as each fiber crosshatches the next to make up this blue piece of fabric. There is a beautiful undulating movement to each piece, it is as if there are pieces of futuristic fabric form the land of The Matrix hanging on the wall and there is a light autumn breeze in the air.