1980 · Germany
Perhaps one of the most mysterious artists of the modern day, Henry Codax might be one artist, or he might be several. Regardless, what can be said universally about his work is that it creates a compelling space for contemporary expression.
Though it has yet to be fully substantiated, some have argued that “Codax” is a pseudonym for the artistic duo of Olivier Mossett and Jacob Kassay. Support for this hypothesis came from the collaborative practice in the 1960s of four artists - Daniel Buren, Olivier Mosset, Michel Parmentier and Niele Toroni, who were known as “BMPT” – who would create their work in public under a similar set of compositional parameters and then sign their works with one of four symbols that they could interchange to maintain anonymity in the design process. Both Mossett and Kassay have denied that this collaborative moniker is as play, however it is intriguing to consider the parallels, as Codax’s monochromatic canvases take on such an industrially precise quality that it almost seems that individuality is erased.
Moreover, the repetitive nature of these canvases – defined by the repetition of various shades of gray across a gallery space – seems to undermine the very vivacity of art in a larger critique about the nature of artistic production. The result is a contemplative body of work whose mysterious origins continue to captivate.