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  • Provenance

    Sutton Lane, London
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2010

  • Exhibited

    Tokyo, Rat Hole Gallery, Cheyney Thompson Chronochromes, Data, Motifs, 11 March - 12 June 2011

  • Catalogue Essay

    Cheyney Thompson’s practice is focused on his investigation into the construction and perception of painting. Seeking to deconstruct and unravel the formal qualities of painting itself, the present work, Chronochrome set 1, belongs to the larger Chronochromes series, within which Thompson engages with the notions of measurement, notation, production and circulation. By equating his painting with a sense of ‘wage labour’, Thompson highlights both the physiological and physical toil made manifest within each fleck of paint, and points, more broadly, to the socio-economic networks which determine the dynamics of the art market and art-production.

    Thompson’s work is conceptually anchored in a vast and varied milieu of historical, mathematical and scientific loci. Complex patterns of bright colours are rendered using repetitive and delicate brush-strokes - a technique which makes reference to the quantitative colour system established by the painter and scientist Albert Munsell. At the same time, Chronochrome set 1 is an experiment in abstraction. From a large digital print, Thompson laboriously plots each varying hue - the modified value of each colour is completed in accordance with the hours of a working day: black signifies midnight, whilst white denotes midday. There is, therefore, a psychological dimension to Thompson’s colour-diagram. The hiatuses and fading gradients represent the natural diversions, departures and lethargy which impacted upon Thompson’s artistic process; Chronochrome set 1 thus ‘performs’ its own materiality.

    Thompson’s oeuvre can be identified as part of what the art critic David Joselit terms ‘transitive’ painting (David Joselit, ‘Painting Beside Itself’, October Magazine: MIT Press, Issue 130, Fall 2009, p. 128). ‘Transitivity’, here, refers to the artwork’s capacity to ‘hold in suspension the passages internal to a canvas, and those external to it’ – a concept which is central to Thompson’s artistic practice (David Joselit, ‘Painting Beside Itself’, October Magazine: MIT Press, Issue 130, Fall 2009, p. 129). Each work articulates a wealth of internal information and, simultaneously, the external stimuli - historical references and conventions of display - implicit within the artwork’s construction.

    Currently held in the permanent collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York - Thompson’s painted and installation works present a ceaseless challenge to the prevailing categories, and very concept, of ‘art’.

Property of a Distinguished European Collector


Chronochrome set 1

signed and dated 'Cheyney Thompson 2010' on the reverse
oil on canvas
190.5 x 226.5 cm (75 x 89 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2010.

£150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for £225,000

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Specialist, Head of Evening Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4061 [email protected]

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 5 October 2018