Gibson’s compositions forgo narrative in favor of floating figures, isolated vignettes, and abstract linework. The works lack a set narrative or explicable allegory – aside from the deceptive clarity of their reference. Gibson populates his works with recurring characters and scenes that evoke a certain dramatic, emotional pitch, with the interlaced subjects and superimposed faces blending in and out of moments on the surface. The duality of referential imagery, without narrative, allows the works to seduce the viewer while simultaneously rejecting them, drawing them in before pushing them back out.
Clashing elements occur simultaneously throughout Gibson’s work – humor is played against romance, seriousness against folly. He breathes air into the idea of painting as both vulgar and poetic, without placing value judgements. Much as he abuts “good” drawing with “bad” drawing, the dramatic bumps into the melodramatic, the apparently personal or original with the kitschy and the copied. In works such as Undesignation, the composition is pushed to the edge of legibility with layers of accumulated visual information, figures are buried and (re)emerge under markings, patterns and shapes. In exploring the anxiety of image production and the slippage around image ownership, Gibson’s work is dissident in nature– he rejects the trappings of legibility and leverages images in order to appraise them on their own terms, commingling the high and low.
Alex Gibson (b. 1991, Northampton, MA) received an MFA from Yale School of Art, New Haven in 2019 and a BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York in 2013. Super Darling is the artist's first solo exhibition with M+B. Alex Gibson lives and works in New York.
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