Who doesn’t love photographs of work-in-progress at artists’ studios? In his insightful and clever second solo show at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, David Gilbert encourages our inner voyeur, presenting staged photographs that illuminate the sometimes magical life of painting, assemblage, and installation.
[Image above: David Gilbert, Dawn, 2013, archival pigment print, 50 x 33 inches.]
Installing the canvases, collages, and objects in the gallery by
themselves, unmediated by the artifice of the photographic process, would signify
that the work was complete. The studio images of provisional installations suggest that the ongoing
private activities of an artist at work, occurring before he or she
considers the work showable, merit proper, indeed extravagant,
documentation–or at least consideration.
Gilbert captures artwork at various stages, while the changing sunlight marks the passing days and seasons. Artists often don’t notice such ambient transitions while focused on work; years later, though, with racks full of paintings, will we wonder wistfully why we didn’t pay more attention to time as it elapsed, to the world around us? Gilbert’s images seem to account for many of those lost moments.
“David Gilbert: Coming of Age,” Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, LES, New York, NY. Through October 20, 2013. Images courtesy of the gallery.