Arlington National Cemetery
British artist Ewan Gibbs has achieved international acclaim for his drawings that re-create photographic imagery. For this exhibition, Gibbs trained his expert eye on Arlington National Cemetery to create a series of 16 drawings after photographs he took while visiting the iconic site.
Since the early 1990s, Gibbs (born 1973) has used a unique pictorial language based on knitting and crochet patterns to transform photographs into drawings. First he makes a black-and-white copy of a photograph, and then he overlays a grid on the copy. Working from unit to unit (bottom to top, left to right), he transfers the imagery to another gridded sheet of paper by making marks approximating the tonal values. Gibbs created the Arlington series with “x” shaped marks in pencil. Over the last five years, his work has reflected a growing interest in U.S. subjects such as Arlington, America’s most celebrated military cemetery.
In addition to the drawings, Ewan Gibbs: Arlington National Cemetery includes 36 photographs from the MFAH collection by artists who have inspired Gibbs. Together, the drawings and photographs underscore Gibbs’s interest in visual perception, specifically the role the human eye plays in viewing and processing visual material.