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Scott Short

Born 1964 in Marion, Ohio
Lives and works in Chicago, Illinois

Scott Short’s evocative compositions explore the limits and possibilities of painting. In works such as Untitled (white), Short considers the concepts of authorship and reproduction. He begins by photocopying a blank piece of colored construction paper onto a blank piece of standard copy paper—a method that results in seemingly random black-and-white patterns printed on the copy paper. He then copies that copy, repeating the process multiple times and continuing the random patterning process. Once the artist selects a final permutation, the abstract image is then photographed, formatted as a slide, and projected onto a primed canvas. In the final stage, Short painstakingly recreates this image, taking care to remain true to the particular patterns and shapes generated by the machine. In Short’s process, the painter and the photocopier undergo a role reversal: the copier creates the abstraction and the painter reproduces the copy. By removing the emotive quality of the artist and leaving the authorship to a machine, Short reinvents traditional painterly practice.

Read about the artist

A Look at Scott Short
ArtSlant (March 2008)

Picks: Scott Short
Artforum (February 2007; note: registration required)