color Beyond Kandinsky: Joseph Nechvatal Images

The year 2011 marks the centennial of the publication of Wassily Kandinsky's classic text, On the Spiritual in Art. Inspired by this anniversary, this project set out to explore the place of the spiritual in contemporary art and to propose a challenge to the current devaluation of the inner life that prevails within the art world in our market-driven era.

Beginning on Wednesday, March 30th, 2011, a ten-day virtual symposium moderated by Taney Roniger and Eric Zechman was held in this forum. The symposium closed on the evening of Friday, April 8th. Below is the full record of the proceedings.

Panelists invited to participate were: Suzanne Anker, Laura Battle, Connie Beckley, Anney Bonney, Deirdre Boyle, Nathaniel Dorsky, Jeff Edwards, James Elkins, Max Gimblett, Tom Huhn, Atta Kim, Roger Lipsey, Enrique Martinez Celaya, Joseph Nechvatal, Daniel Siedell, Charlene Spretnak, David Levi Strauss, Alan Wanzenberg, and Pawel Wojtasik. For participant biographies and other project details, please visit our site:


March 30th–April 1st: Session I: The Spiritual Then and Now

April 2nd–April 3rd: Session II: The Changing Shape of Art

April 4th-5th: Session III: Art and Its Audience

April 6th–April 7th: Session IV: The Artist in Society

April 8th: Conclusions


Friday, April 8, 2011

Joseph Nechvatal Images

cOncerning Abu Graib
Triptych, 66" x 132"
Computer-robotic assisted acrylic on canvas

vOluptuary drOid décOlletage
66" x 120"
Computer-robotic assisted acrylic on canvas

Room of digital projections
Claudio Bottello Gallery,
 Torino, Italy

becOming mOre
becOming multiple

Each 44" x 66”
Le val des nymphes

Orgiastic abattOir
flawless ignudiO

Diptych, 88" x 66"
Computer-robotic assisted acrylic on canvas

Still from performance of XS: The Opera Opus
New York, Dannheisser Foundation

Viral Counter Attack
Galerie RLBQ
Marseille, France

back tO Order : cOnjugated bOdies
Diptych, 87" x 66"
Computer-robotic assisted acrylic on canvas

Art Rétinal Revisité: Histoire de l’Oeil
Installation view (partial)
16" x 20" Computer-robotic assisted acrylic on canvas
and screen with digital animation
Galerie Richard, Paris, France

fleur de lys rectal
20" x 20"
Computer-robotic assisted acrylic on canvas
and screen with digital animation

The Informed Man
82" x 116"
Computer-robotic assisted acrylic on canvas


  1. Ecce Homo should be the (suggested) title of the last image (right above). It's the Ecce Homo, I'm convinced. I finally got it!!!

  2. Joseph, could you provide some descriptive information for the images? For example, I'd love to know if the first and second images are paintings, digital prints, multi-layered collages, or something else entirely.

  3. OK I dropped that information in. Thanks for asking.

  4. Thanks, Joseph. Before time's up: Would you tell us a little bit about the "computer-robotic assisted" component of your work? It's not clear to me how the robots, especially, come into play. If you're all out of time, I understand -- I'll look it up elsewhere!

  5. The images are created digitally on my computer and that digital data is sent to an industrial robotic painting machine that paints them on canvas.