Wednesday, May 31, 2017

John Gibbons - The Messengers

An edited version of this review appeared in the Sunday Times Culture magazine on the 28 May 2017.

The London-based Irish sculptor John Gibbons has described art as “a radiator for the soul”.  Despite its overtly contemporary feel, his latest exhibition makes this metaphor explicit with an array of highly-worked stainless steel sculptures laden with religious suggestiveness. These religious allusions are sometimes obvious as in Cross and elsewhere are confirmed by titles containing terms such as Temple Bell and Basilica. Messenger/Announce (above) brings to mind an antique reliquary and there are indeed relics woven into a couple of pieces in the show. But these are art relics.  Gibbons inherited a store of scrap metal from the great American Abstract Expressionist David Smith and he has incorporated pieces from this sacred hoard into his work  – the subtly different gauge reveals the artful homage. A couple of writhing ink and acrylic drawings on Melinex confirm his Abstract Expressionist affinities. Gibbons has an international reputation with work in Tate London and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona. This outstanding show demonstrates how he has earned it.

Hillsboro Fine Art
John P. O'Sullivan