5/31/13 11:29 AM
The coordinated group movements of small creatures like ants, bees and birds bespeak complex interdependencies. How do flocks agree which way to fly, how do swarms know where to gather? The pebbled, mosaic patterns of Lynn Tomaszewski’s meticulous paintings, drawings and animated video installations suggest a study of these natural phenomena all the while resembling the obsessive “Infinity Net” paintings that Yayoi Kusama labored over in the 1950s. But Kusama knew nothing about the subtle influences that one tiny organism can exert on another—she saw dots and webs everywhere. Today, however, scholarly findings in the fields of biology and chemistry, as well as genetics and even urban planning, suggest that Tomaszewski’s irregular clusters represent occurrences, both beautiful and horrible, digital and real, human and animal. In the actions of human crowds and developing cells, there is potential for so much to go right, and also so much to go wrong. Likewise in Tomaszewski’s tightly marked acrylic panels, which she titles “Complexes,” individual human choice and gesture ironically have little place—all seems determined based on surrounding influence.