Ground Control to Major Tom
Remote Sensing: Works by Nicole M Gibbs, Curated by Susan Li O'Connor
Ohio Art League January 2 - 27, 2010
We are in a new decade, fresh with new hope yet vast amounts of fear in the face of it all. Nicole Gibbs presents distant, abstract moments to observe and reflect on the beauty that is this current time.
Now, it may be that I am a sucker for paper, especially the Mylar that Gibbs uses in the majority of her work. Transparency and fragility sing an involved love song with the opacity of paint and slip. And, at times other engaging materials like marker, ink and dye hit important notes.
But, materials aside, the curation of the show is inviting. Target/Bloom is a beautifully suspended, double sided, Mylar piece that acts as a well timed climax in the last third part of the gallery space. The work hangs out in front of Listening Through the Walls, a graphic switch up on newsprint. Listening mimics, but modifies a lot of Gibb's earlier marks. I found myself looking back and fourth at them, like I was in the middle of a way too intelligent conversation that I desperately wanted to learn from
While the soft sculptures in the show make sense as a transition from soft papers, they are like the new kids in Gibb's satellite monitored universe. They need to mature a bit more and reproduce on a planet all their own. They are too young to stand up against the strength of the two dimensional works. A tough act to follow because, the beautiful thing about the Mylar works is that they combine hard and soft edges beautifully and are hybrids of 2D and 3D as they are flat, but can be viewed from multiple angles. They seem effortless. The sculptural works are safe for now though, and do not seem as forced as Galaxy, the weakest work in the show.
I believe that Gibbs has a quiet, keen sense of observation, and that she and I would get along. Perhaps we could have tea, and discuss the possible infusion of lavender into the atmosphere to relax our perspective for many moments to see beyond the chaos and slowly watch the world evolve.