Gary A Bibb - At the Threshhold of Becoming
Opening for the artist: Friday May 8th from 5pm - 7pm
Exhibition continues through June 27, 2015
GARY A. BIBB - NEW WORKS
On view, a selection of recent explorations by Gary A. Bibb into the realm of mixed media painting and collage. Bibb's unique sense of color and composition express a deeply felt concern with aesthetic considerations and the place of artistic practice in contemporary society. Intimate in scale, Bibb's rich surfaces invite the viewer to linger and discover unknown vistas in these landscapes of the mind.
As the artist states:
"The artist's creative process is more than an intellectual puzzle or an emotional exercise; it is an expression of the soul whereby the rational, emotional and spiritual components of our being work in concert, each playing an integral role.
Confronted with uncertainty and disorder, we strive to resolve these conflicts. Therefore, an artist develops a compulsion to complete the task of selecting, signifying and organizing the various pictorial elements until a personal sense of balance, harmony and purpose is achieved."
ARTICLE FROM THE MAGAZINE
GARY A. BIBB: AT THE THRESHOLD OF BECOMING
THERE IS A FASCINATING NEW ENTRY TO THE ROSTER OF GALLERIES IN SANTA FE.
With its inaugural exhibition, At the Threshold of Becoming, Nisa
Touchon Fine Art can be added to the list of galleries spreading
outside of the usual Santa Fe circuits. In a sore-thumb-pink
building on Rosina Street, this newcomer splits the gap between
two emerging districts, Baca Street and Siler Road. The gallery
specializes in collage, assemblage art, and photography, and
its roster currently includes Zach Collins, Gary A. Bibb, Lisa
Hochstein, Hope Kroll, Dennis Parlante, Kareem Rizk, Joan
Schulze, Melinda Tidwell, Lanny Quarles, Paul Rousso, and
The interior defied the sore thumb exterior with the
tastefully minimal installation of Gary A. Bibb’s recent solo
show of mixed-media collages. Bibb, a midcareer artist living
and working in Denver, creates painterly mixed-media works
in unpredictable palettes that run the gamut from gloomy
and menacing to lyrical and bright. The panels betray a well-
honed practice that includes foraging for found objects—
paper, cardboard, wood, metal—in alleys and industrial sites,
intervening in the afterlife of this human detritus, and the
process of selecting, organizing, and reconciling these disparate
The process is evident, too, in Bibb’s aesthetic. The
artist begins with a space of disorder and conflicting energies,
and through a layering process brings his materials into
compositions that seem frozen in the middle of unfolding. Each
panel seems to vibrate as these opposing energies actively work
out syntheses: vibrant colors quickly shift and limn expanses of
darkness, heavy layering brings supple texture to divots and
creases, collaged papers peek out and interrupt the otherwise
abstract milieu with pattern or pop-culture signifiers. Never
entirely at ease, each work feels like a question, not an answer.
Bibb refers to himself as a Casualist, a highly personal
and subjective approach to mark-making that is concerned
with the alchemy of process, a process filtered through the
multivalent, even mundane reality of daily experience. In 2011,
Sharon L. Butler described the New Casualist abstract painting
as “a studied, passive-aggressive incompleteness... a broader
concern with multiple forms of imperfection: not merely
what is unfinished but also the off-kilter, the overtly offhand,
the not-quite-right.” (brooklynrail.org). This tendency toward
“incompleteness” is evident in the body of work Bibb presents,
as many works engage with similar formal questions. The most
striking example throughout the exhibition is the reiteration
of dominant horizontal and vertical lines engaging as a primary
dynamic, in which the rest of the composition falls around this
conflict to widely differing affects. Some of these dynamics
become resolved into harmonies, others maintain dissonance.
The strength of the exhibition is its multiplicity.
Bibb has also been the creative and curatorial force
behind several projects, often with leanings toward guerilla
exhibitions or grass-roots inclusiveness using online exhibitions
and a global network of artists. These include Remarque (2014,
jackthehack-remarques.blogspot.com), in which international
artists were sent digital works to complete and exhibit online,
which Bibb sent out his own work to be installed in public
places internationally by fellow artists and then documented,
and Fluxface in Space (2010-11, fluxfaceinspace.blogspot.com),
in which an international group of artists submitted work to
be launched into orbit onboard Shuttle missions Discovery
and Endeavor. These projects and initiatives are threaded by
an ongoing interest in experimentation outside the traditional
bounds of marketable, commodifiable art. The open-
endedness of these efforts is paralleled in Bibb’s compositions.
It is a rewarding debut from Nisa Touchon, and well worth the
trek to this new destination.
While you’re there, be sure to wander upstairs. Sharing
the space with the gallery is the International Museum of
Collage, Assemblage and Construction. New to Santa Fe, but
operating for nearly twenty years, the museum is an archive
and gallery that organizes exhibitions both physically and online.
Impressively inclusive, the museum accepts donated work into
using a “specimen gathering” model, sampling a global cross
section of creators. The museum also actively fosters the
collage arts by hosting workshops and selling cleverly selected
scraps in collage kits. Truly a treasure trove, Santa Fe is lucky to
have received these two additions to the scene.