Ewan Gibbs: New York / Chicago
Introductory text by Ewan Gibbs and Richard Shiff
Published by Richard Gray Gallery
Hardcover, 68 pages, English, 2019
Ships from Chicago
Richard Gray Gallery is pleased to announce the release of an illustrated catalogue on the occasion of the exhibition Ewan Gibbs: New York / Chicago. Featuring twenty detailed illustrations from the exhibition, the catalogue is accompanied by an introductory dialogue between the artist and Richard Shiff, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History and Director at the Center for the Study of Modernism at the University of Texas, Austin.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Renowned British artist Ewan Gibbs creates intimately scaled portraits of the built environment. Working from photographs taken during his travels, Gibbs carefully renders images of urban landmarks using his methodical drawing technique. The resulting images infuse the iconic manufactured exteriors of the city with an inner nostalgia and demand close observation.
New York / Chicago presents a recent body of work comprising parallel but distinct series of drawings that are based on the artist’s personal encounters in the two cities. Each drawing contains thousands of minuscule pen and pencil marks and pinpricks—a system developed by Gibbs over twenty-five years ago after seeing knitting patterns containing various graphic symbols within a large, organized grid. Justly described by the late and celebrated art educator and critic James Yood, “the allure of Gibbs’s maniacally rendered [illustrations] stems from the stunning difficulty of his task, the monklike patience it requires, and the bravura skill he brings to bear.”
Upon close inspection, these gestures dissolve into a sea of marks; as the viewer steps back, however, the abstract and the figural converge until the marks snap into focus, revealing the spatial planes of city monuments and quintessential skyline views. This distance-based legibility harkens back to the dotted canvases of the Pointillists, though Gibbs’s techniques resonate to an even higher degree with the pixel in photographic technology—with each mark, he records a single elemental unit of the image.