Keith Tyson

Biography of Keith Tyson

Turner Prize-winning artist, Keith Tyson, has doggedly trodden his own path, producing highly original artwork that questions the very fabric of reality. Born in 1969 he left school at 15 and took up an apprenticeship at BAE Systems. Unsatisfied by the work, he began an art foundation course in Carlisle in 1989 before enrolling on the experimental Alternative Practice course at the University of Brighton.


It was in his London studio and not long after leaving University that Keith Tyson invented his infamous Art-Machine, 1999, a device the instructed him on what to produce. It was part of his ongoing experiment with randomness that used algorithms and computer programs to give instructions. The project was great success and was exhibited around the world. By 2000 he began to take on a more artistic approach to investigate thematic questions. Many of the works from this series entitled Drawing and Thinking were installed at the Venice Biennale in 2001.


Keith Tyson is adept at combining systems of logic and chance into his arts practice, and by doing so, captivates his viewers by initiating a search for comprehension while simultaneously questioning the boundaries of such a project. Tyson has confessed to a gambling problem, especially the allure of the roulette wheel—much of the imagery of gambling infuse his work.


In 2005 Keith Tyson exhibited his monumental work Large Field Array in the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, before it travelled on to the De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art in the Netherlands. In 2009 Tyson was part of the prestigious Hayward Gallery exhibition “Walking in My Mind”. Highly influenced by Francis Picabia, and artist he collects, Tyson has largely concentrated on painting in recent years. His work is in the permanent collection of the Tate in London and as well as winning the Turner Prize in 2002, is an Honorary Doctor of Letters at The University of Brighton.

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