Saturday, August 27, 2011

Review: Tom Burtonwood @ Hinge Gallery

"Artist Talk with Tom Burtonwood," photographed between 4:00PM & 6:00PM, August 7, 2011, at Hinge Gallery, 1955 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60622.

Tom Burtonwood @ Hinge Gallery
Above: Tom Burtonwood presents his text "Composition 2," which is available at his website

Assisted by perspective drawing, Tom Burtonwood practices a "sort of" tessellation: graphic modulation of a complex, interlocking, quadrilateral theme on paper, in serial form.

Tom Burtonwood @ Hinge Gallery

The illusion of three-dimensional space suggested by his linear work is made to vary according to the visual impact of the tints and shades which he applies to said shapes; subtle chromatic variation is his stock in trade.

Tom Burtonwood @ Hinge Gallery

Josef Albers' use of color within a relatively compact framework of handcrafted geometric abstraction seems good to remember.[1]  Burtonwood is, like Albers was, a European.[2]  Considering color, Pae White's use of a nearly identical palette within "Reckless Rainbow" seems good to acknowledge as well.[3]  Burtonwood's show at Hinge Gallery, like White's installation atop the AIC's Bluhm Family Terrace, is available in Chicago, IL, in 2011.

Tom Burtonwood @ Hinge Gallery

With regard to White: Burtonwood's editions, choice of gouache and paper media, and inclusion of QR codes, in addition to his practice of color theory, link him yet more closely to Pop.

Tom Burtonwood @ Hinge Gallery
Above: Burtonwood's QR code incorporation

Known best in Chicago for his work (in partnership with Holly Holmes) at the nexus of economy and modern warfare, one is made to wonder where the pieces at Hinge "stand" in relation to Burtonwood's past explorations of, for example, camouflage: both its formal variations and also its psychological function.[4]

Tom Burtonwood @ Hinge Gallery

The artwork (at Hinge Gallery) is genuinely pleasant to behold; that's worth remark, given the local tide of Brut and Povera. But is Burtonwood seriously, or ironically, revisiting what are now pejoratively called "Modern" concerns?

Tom Burtonwood @ Hinge Gallery

Is it possible that Burtonwood hints not only at an exoteric formal relationship between QR codes and geometric abstraction--but also at an esoteric conceptual relationship between the production, marketing, and sales which are carried on within the seemingly disparate fields of politics and fine art?

Tom Burtonwood
On display through September 4, 2011
Hinge Gallery
1955 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622



[2] Tom Burtonwood was born in Manchester, England, in 1974.


[4] "Urban Camo Santa" by Burtonwood and Holmes:

- Paul Germanos


  1. Looks great, can't wait to see this exhibit.

  2. I just love this guy's art work!