May 1, 2022
Cheyney Thompson

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Complete playlist below; tracks in yellow were cut for time.

  1. Master Chief: Level 5 Warmup, Cassidy Byars, 2012
  2. Catatonic Dance, Crash Worship, 1992
  3. Dum Dum, Butthole Surfers, 1984
  4. Études pour piano, Livre II: No. 4, Der Zauberlehrling [the Sorcerer’s Apprentice], György Ligeti performed by Eric Huebner, 1988-94,
  5. Time and Motion Studio I, Brian Ferneyhough performed by Hugo Queirós, 1971-77
  6. Suite for Cello No. 1, Op. 72: Moto perpetuo e canto quarto Presto, Benjamin Britton performed by Mstislav Rostropovich, 1964-65
  7. Nomos Alpha, Iannis Xenakis performed by Garth Knox & Arditti Quartet, 1965-66
  8. Salt Peanuts, Dizzy Gillespie, 1955
  9. Drunk at Last, a Date with Ham, Etc., Negativland, 1989
  10. Whisper a Prayer, Negativland, 1989
  11. In a Lonely Place, New Order, 1981
  12. Aruca, Medicine, 1992
  13. Jupiter Jazz, Galaxy 2 Galaxy [originally Underground Resistance], 1996
  14. Take Some Time Out, Arnold Jarvis, 1987
  15. Force for the Future, Ill Machine, 1998
  16. Puhdistus, Pan Sonic, 1996
  17. Viola da gamba Sonata in G Major, BWM 1027; Johann Sebastian Bach, c. late 1730s early 1740s; perfomed by Pablo Casals, Paul Baumgartner, John Wummer, Bernard Goldberg, Prades Festival Orchestra, 1950
  18. Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein [Now rejoice, dear Christians, together], Chorale Prelude 734, Johann Sebastian Bach c. pre-1950, performed by Vikingur Ólafsson, 2018
  19. Footsteps in the Fog, Ceramic Hello, 1981
  20. Desespero, Staccato du Mal, 2011
  21. Scampia, Martial Canterel, 2017
  22. Silence, Martial Canterel, 2007
  23. Mit Dir, Robert Görl, 1984
  24. Goldberg Variations, BMV 988 Aria, Johann Sebastian Bach c. 1741, Glenn Gould, 1955
  25. Speakers R-4 (sounds), RP Boo, 2013

Painter Cheyney Thompson shares a very personal selection celebrating friendships around music. Starting from his early days on a super-competitive drum line in high school, through his musical mentors and collaborators, Cheyney explores the id of experimental noise rock, the mysteries of New Complexity, and the ecstasy of drum & bass and dance music.

I’ve always thought of Cheyney as a particularly cerebral artist, so it was a surprise to hear him talk about his relationship to and understanding of music to be so deeply rooted in physical experience. Then again, if you were there at the train tunnel riot in Providence in 1993, or part of a weekly music night on the LES for the better part of a decade, it makes sense that you’d connect the body and a profound sense of community to music.

Cheyney Thompson’s (b. 1975, Baton Rouge, Louisiana) practice is centered on an inquiry into the production, distribution, and exhibition of painting. His projects, which often span several years, impose structures and constraints onto the making of his work. These limitations are in turn generative, resulting in exhaustive investigations into the medium of painting and the problems that surround it. Tying his works to mathematical and economic formulas, his own labor as an artist, and the architecture that his paintings occupy, Thompson enacts a tension between their formal qualities, and the larger systems of circulation they inhabit.  In 2017, Thompson’s work was the subject of an exhibition at The Brno House of Arts, Brno, Czechia, with Sam Lewitt. Other solo exhibitions include Cheyney Thompson The Completed Reference: Pedestals and Drunken Walks, Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany, 2012, Cheyney Thompson: metric, pedestal, landlord, cabengo, recit, curated by João Ribas, MIT Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts 2012. His work has additionally been included in numerous group exhibitions, including Invisible Adversaries: Marieluise Hessel Collection, Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, 2016, Money, Good and Evil. A Visual History of Economics, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden, Germany, 2016, A Slow Succession with Many Interruptions, SFMOMA, San Francisco, 2016, and Materials and Money and Crisis, Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, Austria, 2013, the 2008 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2008, among others. Thompson’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, SFMoMA, San Francisco, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.