Art News

Tim Schwartz Creates Art from Kindle Screens in Escapism at Leon Gallery

Escapism, now up at Leon Gallery, features recent pieces by Tim Schwartz, an up-and-coming L.A.-based artist. At first glance, the works in the show look like neo-minimalist abstracts, but upon closer examination, it’s apparent that they are actually depictions of nature. The dark rectangles that make up the extremely spare constructivist compositions each sport individual renderings of either clouds or waves that have been done in gray on gray, making them hard to see. Minimalism and representation are just two aspects of these intriguing works, however, as they also represent a deconstruction of digital techniques employed in unexpected ways. Schwartz, an expert in the field, discovered that if power was removed from e-paper devices like Kindles, the image that was last been on the screen would become permanent.
To create these pieces, Schwartz hacked the devices, introduced codes to create the images of clouds or waves, then froze the images. The artist has likened his pieces to images by nineteenth-century photographers, both aesthetically and because he used new technologies, just as they did.
Escapism runs through April 24 at Leon, 1112 East 17th Avenue. For more information, call 303-832-1599 or go to
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Michael Paglia is an art historian and writer whose columns have appeared in Westword since 1995; his essays on the visual arts have also been published in national periodicals including Art News, Architecture, Art Ltd., Modernism, Art & Auction and Sculpture Magazine. He taught art history at the University of Colorado Denver.
Contact: Michael Paglia