Mark Thomas Gibson: Resting Space

M+B is pleased to announce representation of Mark Thomas Gibson. To mark the occasion, the gallery is proud to present Resting Space, an online exhibition of new works by Gibson that are a timely response to current global and national events. 

Typically, in a Foundation 2-D course in art school, students are taught about the principle of Resting Spacean empty space where the eye can safely rest, away from the composition's primary focus. This open space allows the viewer to take a break from the subject of the work.


When I conceived of this body of work, the collective "We" were in the middle of the greatest global pandemic in one hundred years. During this time, We noticed how little We notice anything. We noticed that We had lost the mountains in our landscapes behind smog-covered skies. We noticed that technology wasn't all what We thought it was cracked up to be. We noticed a disproportionate number of black and brown people were dying from this virus. We noticed the lowest paid were taking the highest risk. We noticed that there were some in the United States of America who were more than willing to prioritize capitalism over human life. We noticed elections do matter. So much was happening in the Resting Spaces within our society, and I came to view the principle of Resting Space with an entirely new perspective. Instead of interpreting "empty" or "open" space as unattended or not accounted for, I now believe that it is a constructive staging ground where the real activity occurs. Drawing is all about possibility: taking the risk to go into the unknown for the promise of what might be revealed. There is no Resting Space.


These drawings were sent to the gallery in Los Angeles from my studio in Philadelphia the week before the video of George Floyd's murder in Minneapolis emerged. This overt racism and cruelty is nothing that We, The People, haven't seen before in America. We often have a short memory in this country; but a long history of this grotesque truth is embedded in who we are as a nation. Each time I put pen to paper, so to speak, it seems that another one of these all too common tragedies has occurred and revealed another irredeemable fracture. There is no Resting Space.


As long as there is no resting space for me, there is no resting space for you. We are all in THIS together.


Take notice, protest and vote.

 Mark Thomas Gibson (2020)

Mark Thomas Gibson's personal lens on American culture stems from his multipartite viewpoint as an artistas a black male, a professor, an American history buff and comic book aficionado. These myriad and often colliding perspectives fuel his exploration of contemporary culture through languages of painting and the comic book vernacular, revealing a vision of a dystopic America where every viewer is implicated as a potential character within the story. 
Mark Thomas Gibson (b. 1980, Miami, FL) received his BFA from The Cooper Union in 2002 and his MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2013. Gibson's work was most recently on view in a solo presentation at The Armory Show with M+B, curated by Jamillah James, and the solo show The Dangerous One at the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery at University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He has also exhibited at Fredericks & Freiser in New York and Loyal in Stockholm, and participated in the group exhibitions Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of the Black and Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art, Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach; The Curator's Eggs, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York; Woke!, Contemporary Art Museum, University of South Florida, Tampa; and A Being in the World, Salon 94, New York.


In 2016, Gibson co-curated the traveling exhibition Black Pulp! with William Villalongo at 32 Edgewood Gallery at the Yale School of Art. The show examined evolving perspectives of Black identity in American culture and history from 1912 to 2016, and garnered reviews in The New York Times and Art in America. The artist released his first book, Some Monsters Loom Large in 2016 with funding from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. The book was recently re-issued in a second edition in partnership with International Print Center, New York. Gibson's second book Early Retirement was released in 2017 with Edition Patrick Frey in Zurich and was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Gibson teaches at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University and lives and works in Philadelphia, PA. 
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