Published in
Features

Painting by Numbers: Charles Atlas at Luhring Augustine's New Bushwick Gallery

Mesmerizing, psychedelic videos made up of flashing numbers and looping lines by Charles Atlas are on view at Luhring Augustine's newly opened Bushwick gallery.

The exhibition, The Illusion of Democracy, includes two video installations by Atlas — "Painting by Numbers" (2008) and "Plato's Alley" (2009) — that have never before been seen in New York.

Art critic Hrag Vartanian, who edits the arts blog Hyperallergic, says although the projections are trippy to watch, you won't get lost in them.

"There's something very logical about them because they're using numbers, because they're using lines," he said. "So it's not about losing yourself in the work so much as being overwhelmed by it."

Atlas, who was born in St. Louis, Missouri, has been working in New York City since the '70s and has been making film and video art works for more than four decades. He's collaborated with Leigh Bowery, Michael Clark, Douglas Dunn, Marina Abramovic, Yvonne Rainer, Mika Tajima and the New Humans, Antony and the Johnsons, and Merce Cunningham, among others.

"The Illusion of Democracy" is on view at Luhring Augustine in Bushwick through May 20. Charles Atlas's work will also be included in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, which opens March 1.

Click on the slideshow below to see video stills from the show.

A solo show by Charles Atlas called <em>The Illusion of Democracy</em> is the inaugural show for Luhring Augustine's new space in Bushwick.
A solo show by Charles Atlas called The Illusion of Democracy is the inaugural show for Luhring Augustine's new space in Bushwick. ( Courtesy of Luhring Augustine )
The exhibition includes two video installations by Atlas — 'Painting by Numbers' (2008) and 'Plato's Alley' (2009) — that have never before been seen in New York.
The exhibition includes two video installations by Atlas — 'Painting by Numbers' (2008) and 'Plato's Alley' (2009) — that have never before been seen in New York. ( Courtesy of Luhring Augustine )
A still from Atlas's '143652,' a silent video that is 12-minutes long.
A still from Atlas's '143652,' a silent video that is 12-minutes long. ( Courtesy of Luhring Augustine )
Vartanian said the show was a little like getting stuck in your computer, and I'd agree.
Vartanian said the show was a little like getting stuck in your computer, and I'd agree. ( Courtesy of Luhring Augustine )
Another shot of '143652' at Luhring Augustine.
Another shot of '143652' at Luhring Augustine. ( Courtesy of Luhring Augustine )
A still from "Plato's Alley," another installation that has not yet been seen in New York.
A still from "Plato's Alley," another installation that has not yet been seen in New York. ( Courtesy of Luhring Augustine )
Math nerds, take heed. 'Painting by Numbers' is a serious mind warp.
Math nerds, take heed. 'Painting by Numbers' is a serious mind warp. ( Courtesy of Luhring Augustine )
Another space-agey shot from 'Painting by Numbers.'
Another space-agey shot from 'Painting by Numbers.' ( Courtesy of Luhring Augustine )
Things that make you say, 'Hmmm'!
Things that make you say, 'Hmmm'! ( Courtesy of Luhring Augustine )
of