Unhealthy whiff of decay

369 Gallery –

… An exhibition of abstract drawings and paintings by Jonathan Gibbs at the 369 Gallery is a very English affair wherein Constructivist improvisations, cool and intellectual, are given a decorative bias but subjected to discipline, nevertheless, by limiting media to conté chalk — black, white, sanguine — except for the odd introduction of experimental collage with silk screened fabric.

His quiet and elegant propositions begin from that dynamic tension of straight lines in space one associates with Malevich though these are open to visitations from different systems — the five lines of the musical stave, dots, blobs, curves and meandering squiggles.

Some of the conclusions are quite simply reduced and relaxed in character while others resemble intellectual doodles, complex and agog with energy. The most elegant involve the relationship of blue girder shapes, the most attractive combine striped areas and spatial recession, the most ascetic concern skeletal equations assembled in a graph of separation.

by Edward Gage
March, 1982