Berrisford Boothe, Target Motion Analysis, 2018

Berrisford Boothe, Target Motion Analysis, 2018, acrylic on panel, 20 in. diam. x 1.5 in.

Berrisford Boothe displaces the mundane with ritual through patience, a capacity he recommends for gaining new knowledge in real time during the making of potent aesthetic forms. Recent work explores circles, since they are uniquely tooled to replace what is known (endpoints) with what may be discovered (portals).

Target Motion Analysis grants the eye purchase by mixing layers of gold-red and extra-fine iridescent gold in medium that separates and clots before drying. Viewed from different angles, the mostly red painting can appear more or less golden.

Target Motion Analysis (TMA) is a process used by the military to calculate the position of targets such as submarines and ships. Using the painting as both target and sensor, Boothe turns TMA—a tedious, time-consuming act—into a rich metaphor to describe spin, approach, and retreat. Insets of circles within the circular painting appear to be dials that spin at cardinal points. Being the perfect view of many orientations, this painting reveals a blue halo buried within a red one. As a Ritual Probability Device (RPD), it summons countless possible events, and we bear the weight of each without needing to see each iteration.

Part of Passing Bittersweet, a 2020 exhibition at the Williams Center Gallery. Find more of Berrisford Boothe’s work on his website.