TYLER HOBBS (B. 1987)
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Please note for tax purposes, including potential … Read more
TYLER HOBBS (B. 1987)

Fidenza #724

Details
TYLER HOBBS (B. 1987)
Fidenza #724
smart contract address: 0xa7d8d9ef8D8Ce8992Df33D8b8CF4Aebabd5bD270
token ID: 78000724
wallet address: 0xf8BE957f65E67Fb0342992A51C30290d5758F880
signed, titled and dated 'Hobbs '21 #724' (lower left); signed, titled, numbered and dated 'Fidenza #724 1/1 2021 Tyler Hobbs' (on the reverse)
archival digital pigment print on paper
JPEG: 2000 x 2400 pixels
print: 49 3/4 x 41 7/8in. (126.5 x 106.4cm.)
Executed in 2021 and minted on 11 June 2021, this work is unique and accompanied by a non-fungible token
Provenance
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner.
Special notice
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Brought to you by

Michelle McMullan
Michelle McMullan Head of Evening Sale

Lot Essay

A thrilling encounter between image-making and technology, Tyler Hobbs’ Fidenza represents a significant new chapter in the field of generative art. Channelling inspiration from art history and nature into innovative computer code, this extraordinary collection of 999 NFTs propelled the artist to prominence in 2021. Named after a small town in Italy, the series marks his most versatile generative algorithm to date. It showcases his sophisticated exploration of flow fields: a technique that allows him to create organic, unpredictable curves. Designed not to overlap, these undulating patterns are subjected to variation in factors such as palette, scale, thickness, turbulence and density. By submitting to the generative power of his algorithm, Hobbs plays with the dialogue between chance and control, eloquently probing the relationship between human and machine in the digital age. Ranked 236 out of 999 in terms of rarity, the present work offers a spectacle of dense optical complexity, pulsing and flickering like light refracted through a prism.

Born in Austin, Texas—where he continues to live and work—Hobbs has always been fascinated by art. As a child he spent time drawing comic books by hand, and later dabbled in a number of figurative genres through oil painting. He discovered a deep admiration for the Abstract Expressionists, as well as artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Vincent van Gogh, Agnes Martin, Bridget Riley, Sol LeWitt and Mark Bradford. After studying computer science at university, and working as a software engineer for a start-up, Hobbs began to think about ways in which the two disciplines might collide. By 2014, he had started to document his thoughts in a series of online essays, contemplating in particular the role of randomness in art and the natural world. It was during this period that Hobbs first tried his hand at generative art, conducting his earliest experiments with flow fields in 2016. His process remains one of trial and adaptation: the artist refines his algorithms through the inclusion of spontaneous ideas and bugs, often leading him into wild and unforeseen territory. In Fidenza, he explains, ‘the core structures of the algorithm are highly flexible, allowing for enough variety to produce continuously surprising results’ (T. Hobbs, quoted in J. Borg, ‘Tyler Hobbs: Who Is The NFT Artist Behind Fidenza?’, NFT Evening, 29 June 2022).

Fidenza places Hobbs within a rich creative lineage. From Jackson Pollock’s action paintings and Gerhard Richter’s ‘squeegeed’ abstractions, to Cy Twombly’s ‘blackboards’, Alighiero Boetti’s tapestries and Sigmar Polke’s alchemical explorations, many artists have attempted to visualise the interaction between order and chaos. For Hobbs, however, there is another vital history at play. Working with computer technology, he explains, is a crucial bid to address the dominant material language of his time. Artists of the past, for instance, explored the potentials of concrete, glass and steel, in the hope that they might unlock new truths about human behaviour. Hobbs, similarly, is making art from the very fabric of our daily lives. ‘[E]very day we’re spending more and more time in a digital environment’, he explains. ‘... It’s so important to me that we have artists working with those same materials ... I think we need to develop a way to play with code and a way to create beautiful things with code, a way to create humane, expressive things with code’ (T. Hobbs, quoted in J. Bailey, ‘An Interview with Tyler Hobbs: Part I’, Right Click Save, 9 May 2022). It is an ambition eloquently expressed in the rippling patterns of Fidenza #724.

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