Kate Gibb Solo Exhibition
October 19th - November 19th 2017
Opening Reception : October 19th 6-8pm
+81 Gallery : 167 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012
Hours : Wednesday - Sunday 12-7pm
While the Pop art maestro Andy Warhol is probably the first name that comes to mind when speaking of brightly colored silkscreened art, the printed works of Kate Gibb have themselves an intricate and richly vivid aesthetic that parallel this technique in their application.
Her approach has a depth of angle formed from a combination of collage, figurative and abstract characteristics, along with a sense of the times that can’t be ignored. She is an artist who creates all her printed artworks herself, working intuitively on subtle technical adjustments to create an unorthodox aesthetic, completing pieces one work at a time. Owning the whole process from its original concept, to screen preparation, the mixing of inks and pigments right through to the actual act of printing itself. This is what instills Kate Gibb’s creations with such unique vision.
Kate Gibb’s career kicked off after successfully winning a creative pitch, (set by the design group Blue Source in conjunction with their client Virgin Records), to create a series of images to be used as sleeve art for electronic music pioneers The Chemical Brothers.
The subsequent silkscreened illustrations became cover art for their critically & globally acclaimed album “Surrender” & its single releases “Hey Boy Hey Girl”, “Let Forever Be”, “Out of Control” & “Music Response”. At this time Gibb had not long completed a Masters degree at Central Saint Martins. On graduating she rented a small studio in west London, part of an Artist community housed in an old lost property building owned by British Rail. With help she created a simple, makeshift print studio with a basic set up to allow her to continue printing at her own pace and in her own time.
Her skills as a printmaker, along with her idiosyncratic mindset towards colour, mark-making and texture led to a succession of images (artworks) that worked cohesively with the “Surrender” album, traveling synonymously with the band & their music globally. This would mark the moment when Kate Gibb would become known internationally as one of the most iconic silkscreen artists of the new millennium.
The pieces on display at this exhibition are from three of Gibb’s most high profile creative collaborations. A sleeve campaign for British band ‘Mono’, popular in America for their soundtrack for the film ‘Great Expectations’. This was her first record Campaign commission completed whilst she was an undergraduate at Central Saint Martins. The art is composed from disparate layers of photographic collage, silkscreened films of colour and additional hand painting. The pieces created for Mono have a profound expression that on their first observation feel familiar to the viewer and yet like something completely new both at the same time.
Alongside the Mono artworks are four fashion illustrations (from a series of fifteen artworks), commissioned by the Antwerp based Fashion House, ‘Dries Van Noten’. They were utilised as a catalogue for their Spring / Summer Look-book in 2003.
The pieces created for ‘Dries Van Noten’ have a familiarity to them while still pulsing with the trends of today.
This wonderful and timeless presentation of the modern and traditional is what forms the common point between the two sets of work. It allows one to see how omnipresent freshness is such a defining feature of the art of Kate Gibb.
We hope that this exhibition will mark a new step forward for Kate Gibb as a highly talented artist who debuted at the turn of the millennium and continues to be a flagbearer of British cultural art steeped in music and fashion.
My approach to the silkscreen process is intuitive, playful and unorthodox. I am a process led artist. It often feels like my practice is one continual printed exploration with each idea informing and guiding the next in a tangible way. I am influenced by technique learnt initially on a basic level through education. But overall predominantly self taught & from observing other Artists current and historical trends in the arena of print making, specifically silkscreen.
I have an inherent need for my practice to continually evolve both technically & aesthetically. I am intolerant of repetition in my approach and aesthetic & feel it necessary to challenge myself consistently. My commercial practices can influence my personal creative explorations and vice versa.
Working as an educator is also an important aspect of my approach and creative outlook. Discussing ideas, thinking about context, trial and error, the sharing of technical knowledge, working collaboratively, critical & objective thinking and on a basic level enthusing about print making and the creative world (both current & past) never tires me.
Most of the time when working on an artwork I am unsure as to its final visual outcome. The element of chance that I rely on in my process allows my mind to challenge & develop my ideas as I print. My process is rarely straight forward, I don’t wish to know what may happen before I’ve done it. Otherwise I feel i am limiting the range of possible outcomes in a piece to a controlled and prosaic experience.
About Kate Gibb
Kate Gibb has worked as a print maker for the past twenty years.
A silkscreen obsessive, her early studies in textiles fuelled her love for colour, pattern and mark making.
The kind of printing she is inspired by is drawn from her continual exploration of the silkscreen process, administered with an unorthodox & playful attitude.
Predominantly self taught, it is the random hiccups & happy accidents learnt from this intuitive approach that enthuse and shape her visual aesthetic.
Music forms a large part of her practice. commercially she is renowned for many album sleeve artworks, most notably for her long standing relationship with ‘The Chemical Brothers’.
More recent collaborations have seen her create artworks for luxury French brand Hermès, the french newspaper Le Monde, Vogue magazine (UK), VERVE Recordings, ‘Pleasure Garden’ Magazine & Apple.
Alongside her commercial ventures she print-makes daily from her studio in north London, creating low run bespoke editions & majoritively one-off printed artworks, all by hand.
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