Luxe Gallery is pleased to present “Mirrorsteria” by Australia-born, New York–based artist Jeff Gibson.
Since the mid-1980s, Gibson’s artwork has straddled many forms and contexts—painting, photography, video, posters, banners, and books for gallery and public spaces. Similarly, it has drawn on a variety of cultural fields and art-historical precedents—mass media, advertising, and graphic design via the critical and presentational strategies of Dada, Pop, Minimalism, and Conceptualism. An aesthetic and intellectual study in contrast and contingency, Gibson’s practice is fundamentally inclusive and combinatory.
For this exhibition the artist presents an installation consisting of two photographic murals—one abstract, one representational, both overlaid with upside-down text—adhered directly to opposing walls of the gallery. Floor-bound mirrors abut the walls, doubling the imagery in an illusory subterranean space and correcting the inverted typography. Assuming the tone and language of quack psychology, the texts describe certain behavioral tendencies that bind the individual to the collective. In concert with the imagery, they invite reflection on the psychosocial dimension of in/voluntary imitation.
This particular body of work takes a leaf from each of my two most recent artist’s books: dupe: a partial compendium of everyday delusions (a dictionary of quasi-clinical art-world pathologies; sincere, if sardonic) and Sarsaparilla to Sorcery (a picture book exploring pareidolic transference between highly allusive abstract photographic images and taxonomical illustrations swiped from old encyclopedia Britannica). Combining psychologistic text with Rorschach abstraction and meta-figurative imagery in an installation that literally mirrors its own form and content, this work operates at the intersection of knowledge, perception, and subjectivity.
In Jeffrey Kastner’s words:
Gibson likes to tinker with the order of things, to get inside systems to see how they work and, if possible, leave a little theoretical monkey wrench as a calling card. Dismantling and reassembling the raw materials he extracts from various informational schemata, his projects give physical substance to thought experiments designed to unsettle the normative ways in which context collaborates with image to produce meaning.
From “Trick of the I: Observation and Invention in Jeff Gibson’s Sarsaparilla to Sorcery” (SUNY Binghamton, 2007).
An artist, occasional critic, and former senior editor of Art & Text magazine, Jeff Gibson moved to New York in 1998 to work for Artforum, where he is currently managing editor. This will be Gibson’s debut show with Luxe Gallery.
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