Time Has Width: Ky Anderson

Time Has Width: Ky Anderson

When I woke in the middle of the night, suspended between sleep and consciousness,
the words Time Has Width appeared, accompanied by a vision of imagined paintings
that showed moments on a timeline. In these paintings, each event along the timeline
was shown as a point surrounded by circular lines that expanded, overlapped and
communicated with one another.

Once fully awake, the paintings in my vision and the words Time Has Width seemed
nonsensical. But, as the day went on and I worked in the studio, the idea and images
of my vision began to occupy more space in my mind. Time Has Width had become a
problem to solve and, for me, the best way to understand and explore an idea was to
paint it.

I began first by painting the images I had seen in my vision and four of these paintings
are in this exhibition. When I first painted them, I wasn’t satisfied. I felt there was no
discovery in the process as I was painting something I had already seen. For me, ideas
develop organically through painting. As I paint, the idea creates its own structure and I
can imagine it as a three-dimensional shape. In these paintings, the timeline is shown
evolving or falling apart into a column of color. In the moment when events collide,
they explode. During the process of painting, it was as if I was inside of the event
looking out at the timeline, as if I could see time from the inside out. 
As these paintings evolved, I began to understand that Time Has Width was an insight,
a visual translation, of the impact that the pandemic has had on my life over the past
few years. The effect has been intensely personal and, at the same time, global. Covid
became an intensified event on everyone’s shared timeline across the world. These
moments flew together, exploded, expanded, contracted and overlapped.

In March of 2020, when Covid suddenly emerged and NY City shut down, my studio
work underwent a massive shift. I was actively working on several different series at
once. The impact of the pandemic had the effect of cleansing my mind of all things
conceptual. I lost my ideas.

I was living in Brooklyn and my studio was within walking distance. In the midst of the
shutdown, I was able to continue working. I was left with nothing but a strong drive to
paint. During this time, I painted without conscious content. My paintings came from
my process, my muscle memory, and pulled from everything that I’d ever painted.
Some of the paintings from this time are included in this exhibition and are in active
dialogue with the Time Has Width series.

Today my studio is in Kansas City and over time my ideas have come back, but I still
incorporate painting from muscle memory. It has become a meditation, an exercise,
while I’m painting. If world events get to be too much, I can let my mind rest and trust
my body to make the work.

Participating artists