BOSTON, MASS.- The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston
presents Jeffrey Gibson, Love Songthe first solo museum exhibition of the New York-based artist. Gibsons paintings and sculptures deftly bring together geometric abstract painting with Native American visual traditions. His mixed-media sculptures combine traditional craft with Op Art: drum heads, linked and suspended as a column, are painted with geometric patterns; a recycled army blanket is painted with related motifs and hung from a flag pole. The artists most recent paintings, composed on stretched animal hide, are featured in a series titled Constellation. With the integration of abstraction, Gibsons provocative use of hide refers to intertribal Native American culture while challenging the trajectory of modern art. Organized by Jenelle Porter, Mannion Family Senior Curator, the exhibition features 23 works in painting, sculpture, and video. Jeffrey Gibson, Love Song is on view at the ICA from May 1 through July 14, 2013.
Gibson says about his work, "I realized that some very direct, almost literal, translations of historical and traditional Native American objects, formats, materials, and aesthetics feel extremely modern when placed in a contemporary art context. When I think about making new objects that can refer to historical or traditional objects, the possibilities are endless."
The artist began to establish formal and conceptual connections between his indigenous heritage and Western art while studying art at the Art Institute of Chicago. During that time he worked as an intern at the Field Museum, an institution devoted to the study of world cultures. More recently, his work has involved collaborations with Native American artists skilled in the techniques and materials used in indigenous artbeading, quilting, silver, and drums, among other craft techniques. Gibson has located in his work a compelling paradigm: that the categories between abstract painting histories and Native American visual histories and materials are not so very far apart, and that Gibsons own heritage and training might productively bridge the two.
Gibson is half-Cherokee and a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. He was raised in the United States, Germany, and South Korea. He earned a Master of Arts degree in painting at The Royal College of Art, London in 1998 and his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1995. Jeffrey Gibson, Love Song at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston is the artists first solo museum exhibition. A solo exhibition of Gibsons work, Jeffrey Gibson: Said the Pigeon to the Squirrel, will be on view at the National Gallery in New York from May 23 to Sept. 8, 2013.