This week, the art world-approved digital art platform, Verse is leaping out of the digital and into the real world with a major exhibition to be presented at Frieze, No.9 Cork Street. The programme, overseen by former Tate Britain curator Leyla Fakhr, includes an exhibition and live minting experience by conceptual digital artist Jonathan Chomko and The Green Collection – the never-before-displayed personal collection by leading generative artist Zancan. The opening event will culminate with a talk entitled The Concept of Colour with Jonathan Chomko, Zancan and David Batchelor, in partnership with The Digital Art Salon.
Over the last few years, the term NFT (Non-Fungible Token) has been muttered in hushed tones at galleries and art fairs across the globe. Treated with weary caution by blue chip galleries and ‘serious’ collectors, this lacuna between the ‘artworld’ proper and the realm of NFT trading can be attributed to the lack of credible, well-curated and high-quality offerings in the digital art space.
In June 2022, Verse was founded by Jamie Gourlay and Augustinas Malinauskas, to help bridge this growing gap between the worlds of art and crypto. By bringing together knowledgeable and reputable curators, with talented and noteworthy artists, Verse has created a space for collecting digital art and NFTs with confidence. As pioneers in this space, their platform also supports the world’s leading digital artists and galleries to make use of blockchain technology as a way of tracking an artwork’s provenance.
In their short history, the platform has sold works and hosted exhibitions by leading names such as generative artist Zancan, Venice Biennale exhibitor Mustafa Hulusi, and former Turner Prize nominee Mark Titchner, as part of the recent Hospital Rooms’ exhibition, ‘Like there is hope and I can dream of another world’ at Hauser & Wirth London.
Jonathan Chomko Colour Time
On show in a physical space for the first time, Jonathan Chomko will present his latest works Colour Time Sync and Colour Time Generative, extending his Colour Time series. Chomko’s work delicately straddles lived experiences in the physical and digital realms, working through and against technology, to probe the boundaries between these two not-so-separate worlds.
For Verse Live, he will present two new works: Colour Time Sync and Colour Time Generative. Colour Time Sync features two panes of shifting colour synchronised to the clock, enabling visitors online and IRL to experience the work through a shared temporal frame.
Colour Time Generative is series of works co-created with the market, where each buyer receives a slice of the timeline from Colour Time Sync. There is no fixed size for the edition – instead, the pieces are purchase, the gradient expands. Each buyer owns a section of a continuum, constantly shifting until the sale closes.
Also on display are Colour Time works created by the artist during a motorcycle trip from Montreal to Los Angeles in 2021. Titled with the cities in which they were created, these works explore the expressive potential of Colour Time to capture and convey sense impressions.
As a body of work, Colour Time draws inspiration from the seminal colour studies of Joseph Albers, the light installation of James Turrell, and the op-art of Bridget Riley. Working within the frame of the every-day digital display, these works seek to overwhelm the process of visual perception, inducing a state where the unconscious of the artist and viewer can meet. Viewing Colour Time, one is drawn into a state of contemplation. Slowly shifting colours create complementary colour after-images in the eye, blurring hard edges to create a visual experience that exists between perception and reality.
Verse will exhibit the newest work in Chomko’s Colour Time project at Frieze, No.9 Cork Street, furthering his investigation into the relationship between digital and physical universes, and deepening his exploration of the materiality of digital art and NFTs.
As I played around with the idea of a colour sequence animation, I became curious about slowness, perhaps influenced by my friend Timothy Thomasson’s slow CGI video work. I set out to make colours shift as slowly as the movement of the sun; movement perceptible over time but difficult to observe as it happens.Jonathan Chomko
Zancan: The Green Collection
Never in history have artworks been collected by other artists so frequently. Much like the Painters’ Paintings exhibition at London’s National Gallery in 2016, Verse will present the personal capsule collection of, oil- painter turned top-selling NFT artist on the Tezos blockchain, Michael Zancan’s The Green Collection. To date, Zancan has sold over 3,635 digital artworks and has collected work by other digital artists throughout his career.
Each artwork in The Green Collection tells an individual story, capturing seminal moments over the last two years, at the dawn of digital and generative art augmentation in web3. Here rose the community of NFT artists-collectors, who supported and empowered each other. The works on show from Zancan’s collection include tokens of friendship, cherished acquisitions, sources of inspiration and seeds for future collaborations, allowing a true insight into this prolific NFT artists-collector community.
The exhibition includes a number of significant works from the artist’s personal collection, including Manfred Mohr, Sputniko, Toxi, Ivona Tau, and ciphrd – the founder and creator of the generative art platform fxhash.
VERSE LIVE: From Digital to Physical Frieze, No. 9 Cork Street, 29th September – 1st October 2022
Art Opening Tuesday 28th September 6:30pm