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James Verbicky ~Memory is Meaning




Exhibition Type:

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Wednesday, 30 January 2019 to Wednesday, 27 February 2019
Friday, 15 February 2019 - 5:00pm to 8:00pm

This February, Gilman Contemporary will be exhibiting the abstract work of California based artist James Verbicky. Through a dissection of mass media, Verbicky creates abstract paintings and mixed media work that embody an orderly approach to the often chaotic onslaught of words and images seen in our daily lives. Often large in scale, Verbicky’s “media paintings” create “feeds of information” that are crafted from internationally sourced materials. Verbicky often references art history in the same breath as popular mass media. His layered collages subtly sweep outward from his birch panels, held in suspension by glossy resin. Verbicky’s paintings open up possibility as he moves beyond the confines of preselected strips of source material. He precisely renders new forms of internalized media, creating paintings that combine his innate sense of composition and each painting is a new form of the internalized stream of information he often references.   Each piece has an opening for personal interpretation. 

Artist ( Description ): 

Polish Canadian artist James Verbicky was born in 1973 and lived the majority of his early life in British Columbia before immigrating to the United States in the early 2000s. He struggled with legal status for many years before finally being awarded the ‘Extraordinary Ability’ Green card due to his extensive involvement with a wide range of museums, galleries, publications, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropic endeavors. In 2008, his work was selected for a 110 year-old juried exhibition at the Louvre with the Societie Nationale des Beaux-Arts.

Shortly after his exhibition in Paris and finding inspiration among the magazine vendors that range along the Seine, Verbicky created the media paintings: complex and sculptural mixed media artworks that became his vessels for communicating about a society oversaturated by media. By utilizing rare historical content, including both obsolete and persisting brands and advertisements, as well as vintage graphics, Verbicky has constructed a large oeuvre of densely layered and unique compositions that ensnare the viewer by engaging the natural human proclivity to find order in chaos, to sort and assign meaning as a way to navigate the world. In this process, he reminds the viewer that they are constantly being influenced. 

In 2014, Verbicky returned to paint on canvas with the ERA and Bhavanga series, which allowed him to transcend the barriers of paper collage with bands of hand-painted canvas, enamel script, classical imagery and crystallina. At his core, Verbicky is a visual language manipulator, unsatisfied with deconstruction alone, he is driven forward by the process of reconstruction and the creation of a new, abstract visual language. In 2018, he expanded hisvision further by venturing into the world of three-dimensional monumental sculptural works, which build out into the environment and create a sensory experience beyond sight alone.
Verbicky works and lives with his wife and two children in Southern California.

Venue ( Address ): 

661 Sun Valley Road

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