Adventures in Tonality
Augustine Kofie
Galerie Openspace Paris, France  
January 18 - February 8, 2020

“Adventures in tonality” is a term coined by George Russell, an American modern jazz musician and theorist, for the first codified original theory to come from jazz.  The theory re-conceptualized the matching of scales and chords, granting the player or composer tonal freedom. I drew inspiration from this notion of freedom, as well as jazz’s processes of improvisation.

A technical illustrator at heart, my painting and collage is often based on sketches.  This time, I used no sketches as reference.  Instead, the work in this run was created through freestyle, intuition, and improvisation, producing a painterly, atmospheric series in a dusky palette, while still exploring collisions of forms, layers and transparencies to create abstract scenarios that somehow hang outside of time. 

The show’s accompanying 20-minute soundtrack samples my personal collection of jazz records, boasting extended, up-cycled, dusty jazz loops, spacey atmospheric transitions, lo-fi vintage cinematic intermissions, and relevant dialogue pupped from films.  These sounds are the driving force behind the artworks.