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Carter Hodgkin: animation, painting based on atomic particle collisions

Incorporating the reductivist approach of minimalism with the bits and bytes of computer technology, painter Carter Hodgkin creates paintings and animations based on atomic particle collisions, using forms as fundamental as dots or pixels.

My paintings and animations are influenced by my exposure to computer programming and digital imaging emerging from Silicon Valley in the late 1970’s. I had no special interest in computers and was focused on painting. But I was impressed by the idea of encoding images into bits and bytes and saw it as an extension of the reductivist approach to form by Postminimalist artists such as Sol Lewitt and Dorothea Rockburne. Inspired by physics, I explore a new language of abstraction using the elemental atomic particle – aka a dot or a pixel, building up overlapping tiny dots to create paintings.

Manipulating computer code as a drawing process, I generate particle collisions which are used to create paintings as well as short animations. For my paintings, layer upon layer of overlapping dots are painstakingly hand-painted, coalescing into forms conjuring falls, bursts and eruptions. As the painting process becomes labor-intensive, the repetitive painting of dots becomes meditative and contemplative. What takes seconds to create in a collision, takes weeks to interpret into a painting. The process of viewing this work repeats the process of its creation. The viewer is left in contemplation, piecing together a proliferation of dots coming together and dissipating until they emerge as an iconic form.

Carter Hodgkin, NYC, February 1, 2015


Vortex 2, 2012 44″ x 44″, gouache & watercolor on paper ..

Vortex 4, 2012 44″ x 44″, gouache & watercolor on paper

Spin Vortice Nest, 2013 60″ x 40″, gouache & watercolor on handmade paper

Magneto Static Spin, 2013 33.5″ x 45″, gouache & watercolor on paper

Viscous Spin, 2013 32″ x 44″, gouache & watercolor on paper


Carter Hodgkin blurs boundaries between digital media, drawing and painting to explore a new language of abstraction based on physics. Hodgkin’s work has been exhibited at museums and galleries in the U.S., Europe, Japan and India. Hodgkin is a 2012 recipient of the Gottlieb Foundation Artist Fellowship; a 2009 Fellow in Digital/Electronic Arts and a 1989 Fellow in Painting from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Americans for the Arts cited her permanent Public Art Project “Electromagnetic Fall” as one of the best public art projects for 2010. Her work has been reviewed in publications such as Artforum, Art in America, Flash Art. Her work is included in Art+Science Now, a visual survey of artists working at the frontiers of science and technology published by Thames & Hudson. She lives in New York City and teaches at the Parsons/The New School for Design.


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