Pt. 2 Gallery is opening a solo exhibition of paintings by Oakland-based artist Brett Flanigan titled Zero Player Game. The exhibition title is a reference to the mathematician John Horton Conway's Game of Life, a 1970 mathematical simulation where, given an initial state and a set of simple rules, a black and white grid evolves endlessly in ways that are seemingly organic and operate on similar principles as life itself.

In this body of work, each painting begins with an initial state in which Flanigan builds energy, usually involving repetitive patterns and intuitive mark making. This initial state then undergoes a series of reducing and rebuilding moves based on self-imposed rules or logic. The works are simultaneously formulaic and improvisational. Whenever possible, Flanigan makes aesthetic decisions using games of change such as dice rolls, coin flips, or random number generators, leaving the artist’s pre-conceived or socialized views of aesthetic behind, paving the way for unusual compositions and color combinations.  

This philosophy allows Flanigan to explore many painting styles, without attempting to hone in on a signature look. While at first glance the paintings may feel disparate, upon further inspection, the viewer may see how Flanigan borrows ideas from his earlier paintings. In this way, he allows them to interact in a way that is comparable to the organs in a body, each performing its own function while working together with the others and allowing the work to live.

Brett Flanigan will be hosting a guided tour for his solo exhibition at 4pm on Saturday, March 9th.

Brett Flanigan is an Oakland, CA based artist, working primarily in painting and sculpture. He holds a degree in Molecular and Developmental Biology from the University of California: Santa Barbara, which influences his work and approach to artmaking. He has exhibited work in the US and Europe since 2009. Flanigan has also completed a number of public artworks, including a mural at the Lilley Museum of Art in Reno, NV as well as a large scale public sculpture in downtown Oakland, CA. Brett Flanigan is currently represented by pt.2 Gallery.