The Seraphin Gallery is proud to be exhibiting three new works by John Gibson. Gibson, an established New York based painter, is a welcome new addition to our portfolio. His oil on panel paintings, Higgity, Lakeman, and Law represent the latest in his studio practice. They are unique renditions of the ball paintings that he has been working on exclusively for over the past 25 years.
The ball's shape is what has drawn Gibson to use them as content for his work. Trying to create the image of a curved object on a completely flat surface is what sparked his interest, more so than any mystical or metaphoric meaning that could be derived from them. His paintings depict form and function in space, with an exploration of placement, quantity, shadow, and light. Rather than paint a ball from observation, he completely invents the image and references patterns found in museums, books, and toy stores. By wrapping the pattern around the ball, the curved form is made visible. Because the work is created from imagination, an air of mystery and vagueness is stimulated to keep the viewer intrigued. The references to pop art, minimalism, and realism are all combined to present the ball from an ambiguous point of view. The ultra-specific placement and quantity seem to have an unexplained allegorical message that the viewer can’t decipher.
Law features two red polka-dot balls side by side in a horizontal composition. The strong lighting casts black shadows that completely blend into the background, leaving only the bright red shapes of the balls and the edge of the table visible. Both shadow and light are starkly juxtaposed and used as content for the piece. The surface of the panel seems to be scratched into, dry brushed, and wiped away in areas that bring out a yellow underpainting. The scratched lines are not completely random, but have been used as an outline to show where the rest of the ball’s shape lies hidden in the dark shadow. Every mark in this painting has a purpose. The same technique is also applied to Higgity and Lakeman. These two single ball paintings feature striped balls with less of an emphasis on shadow, and more of an emphasis on the very visible light reflection bouncing off of the surface. The scratches in these two paintings are used in a sketch-like fashion. With Lakeman, we can see remnants of a polka-dot pattern scratched into the surface, while Higgity’s scratches outline the ball and its stripes. Similarly to Law, both of these two paintings find a use for every mark.
John Gibson is an MFA graduate from Yale University, and has received his BFA degree from the Rhode Island School of Design. His solo exhibitions have been featured at the Gerald Peters Gallery in New York, the Caldwell Snyder Gallery in San Francisco, and Miller Block Gallery in Boston. He has also been involved in group exhibitions at Allan Stone Projects in New York and the University of Massachusetts. His work has been featured in many public and private collections including: the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Ackland Museum Chapel Hill in North Carolina, the University of Massachusetts, and the Smith College Museum of Art in Massachusetts.
Seraphin Gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm. Please feel free to contact us by phone or email, 215-923-7000 or email@example.com with any requests regarding the works.