Fort Delta is pleased to announce New Paintings, an exhibition of new work by Stephen Giblett. This exhibition marks Giblett’s first solo showing and representation with the gallery. The exhibition will open on Thursday, August 20, and will continue on view through September 12. An opening reception will be held on August 20 from 6:00pm until 8:00pm.
Stephen Giblett heightens the relationship between painting and abstraction by employing two methods of production; one a form of free association and the other, a schematic form of photo-based abstraction influenced by image reproduction.
As a starting point, a series of studies on paper have been created that incorporate painterly methods of play; blind painting, scraping of paint, gestural marks and expressive brush strokes. In these studies, Giblett attempts to connect to a more ‘human’ experience of painting and emotionality.
In contrast to this approach, the photo based abstract paintings that also form the exhibition are reproductions of sections of paint within the original studies. These oil-based paintings amalgamate the studies as newly cropped compositions; their scale and temperament obliterating their origins. Appearing considerably more docile and removed from the studies in terms of expression; a filter of Gaussian blur without visible brushstrokes – a signature technique frequenting Giblett’s paintings in recent years – is used, appearing to replicate machine production and referencing various edifices of image consumption. There are clear digital references in these paintings; at once simulating blown-out pixels that hum and morph into colour field, while blistering whites shine reminiscent to the light from a computer screen or device.
By excavating recent visual histories concerning the digital pace, distribution and reproduction of the image, Giblett’s latest body of work re-interprets the vernacular of, well, post-internet painting, as one must call it; abstract painting that feeds on our ravenous consumption of images and entire ecologies of digital reproduction. Working within this expanded field of painting, Giblett re-injects a human sensibility into the techno-sublime and asserts the visibility of a slick and hyper-skilled human operation at work in lieu of assumed digital algorithms or visual effects. In doing so, Giblett both inverts digital technology from remaining a separate, non-emotive realm and establishes a question for how painting, in a world of over-flowing images, can look today without appearing completely reactionary? remaining in a more organic, suspended flux with the human blueprint as principle reference – seemingly distanced and blurred, yet perpetually shifting into recognition as an advancing technology.