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Where Code Meets Canvas: Tyler Hobbs to stage solo show “QQL: Analogs” at Pace Gallery New York

Web3 superstar Tyler Hobbs’ generative art leaps off the blockchain and onto canvas in his upcoming solo show, “QQL: Analogs”, where the creator of the beloved “Fidenza” NFT series unveils vivid, sweeping paintings crafted with both algorithms and paint.

Web3 artist-extraordinaire Tyler Hobbs is leaping from the blockchain to the canvas at his upcoming solo exhibition, “QQL: Analogs.” 


Running at Pace Gallery's New York space from March 30 to April 22, the show promises a vivid, colorful journey into the future of art and technology. Hobbs, famed creator of the cult-favorite “Fidenza” series of generative NFTs, has translated his digital designs into 12 large-scale paintings. But these are no ordinary paintings — for his new works, Hobbs wielded both brushes and robots in their creation. The results are a collection of sweeping, abstract works on canvas that blend traditional techniques with algorithms and code.



Who is Tyler Hobbs?

Hobbs — who is known for his virtuosic work rendered in computational aesthetics—utilizes algorithms, mechanical plotters, and paint in his practice. One of his most acclaimed projects is the Fidenza NFT series, which was presented on the generative art platform Art Blocks. With a current floor price of 79ETH, the project has seen more than 55,146 ETH in trading volume on the secondary market, making it one of Art Blocks‘ most successful releases to date and remains one of the most sought-after generative NFT projects in the Web3 community.

His works have an abstract style, featuring colorful patterns and textures rather than recognizable objects or figures. Their vivid, bold aesthetic takes influence from figures like Sol LeWitt and Agnes Martin, whose methodical approaches to art making, mathematically-minded compositions, and other contributions to Minimalism and Conceptualism, played a significant role in the rise of generative art in the mid-20th century. 



What is QQL?

QQL is a collaborative project started by Hobbs and Dandelion Wist, a generative artist and co-founder of the marketplace Archipelago. QQL comprises a generative algorithm and a website, where visitors can experiment with generating NFTs through Hobbs’ algorithm, using various bespoke tools that encourage interplay between elements of control and chance.


The pair released 900 QQL minting passes in September 2022, selling for a total of US$17 million. A month later, they were worth US$28 million on the secondary market — a shocking statistic when trading volumes elsewhere in the NFT world were in shambles during that time.


Most QQL mint pass collectors had not actually minted a work — they either spent long hours playing with the algorithm to see what they could come up with, hoping it would eventually churn out what generative art enthusiasts call a “grail”’ piece. Since its launch, the QQL website has generated 21.5 million outputs from around the world.


Hobbs and Wist kept 99 passes for themselves, and the Pace show features 12 large-scale paintings that are physical representations of Hobbs’ own QQL outputs. Created using a combination of traditional painting techniques and robotic tools, including a plotter adapted with mechanical customizations — Hobbs feeds code through a plotter to forge his compositions and then refines details by hand directly on the canvases.



Part human, part machine

While Hobbs’ paintings are derived from an algorithm, they are also unique artworks in their own right, bearing aesthetic traces of both the machine and the artist’s paint strokes. Hobbs’ methodology for these works aligns with his interest in system-based artistic practices from the past century.


“Piet Mondrian, Agnes Martin, Richard Diebenkorn, Bridget Riley, Brice Marden, and even Mark Rothko spent years crafting intuitive rule sets that precisely guided both their compositions and painting techniques. The algorithmic approach to ‘QQL: Analogs’ may be much more explicit, but it is merely the extension of a rich lineage of artists taking a systematic approach to their work,” he told nft now in a recent interview.


“QQL: Analogs” is set to offer an exhilarating glimpse at how machines may transform art-making as we know it. This show is a must-see for anyone who wants to understand and experience the cutting edge of creativity.



“QQL: Analogs”
Mar 30 – Apr 22, 2023

Pace Gallery
508 West 25th Street
New York