Jeffrey Gibson - WE PLAY ENDLESSLY, 2018 (detail)

Jeffrey Gibson

United States 1972

Abstract Art

Jeffrey Gibson
Jeffrey Gibson
United States
August 23, 2017
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Part Choctaw and part Cherokee, Jeffrey Gibson is a New York-based artist who creates abstract sculptures, paintings and prints that provide an autobiographical cultural insight into the life of their author. Gibson’s vast influences range from 19th-century Iroquois beadwork to contemporary street art, radically different inspirations that glamorously collide within this man’s work. Jeffrey says that part of his practice was a reaction to a nostalgic and romantic vision of pre-colonized Native American life. Gibson’s practice often includes sculpted pigmented silicone, in addition to the simultaneous use of oil, acrylic and spray paint – the variety of materials allow Gibson to create layers of patterns in low relief or thick impasto.

Jeffrey Gibson - Tomy Nation / Love is the Drug
Jeffrey Gibson – Tomy Nation / Love is the Drug

Early Life and Education

Jeffrey Gibson was born in Colorado, but he spent the majority of his childhood moving from one place to another. Being exposed to such diversity early on played a major role in establishing young Gibson’s initial artistic impulses, as explained by the artist himself: This unique combination of cultural perspectives and exposure are essential to understanding Gibson’s artworks that combine and transform seemingly disparate references drawn from both Western and non-Western sources. In 1995, Gibson earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Chicago, followed by a Master of Fine Arts received from the Royal College of Art in 1998. It should be noted that the aforementioned Master’s Degree was paid for by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians as Jeffrey was always supported by his community who praises itself on taking care of its own.

Jeffrey Gibson - In Such Times Clowns Become Witnesses
Jeffrey Gibson – In Such Times Clowns Become Witnesses

The Art of Jeffrey Gibson

The centerpiece of Gibson’s art is his nomadic lifestyle: I bring together varying aesthetics of each place I visit. Some have had specific cultural aesthetics, language barriers, cultural barriers, etcetera. These differences funnel through me, a queer Native male born toward the end of the 20th century and entering the 21st century. I consider this hybrid in the construction of my work and attempt to show that complexity. Beside his nomadic lifestyle, Jeffrey also finds inspiration in events that revolve around dancing, especially anything that’s got to do with the life work of Leigh Bowery and his dramatic nightclub persona. Events such as raves provide contrasts as rural and urban venues, serving as spaces for dancing, movement, and dramatic fashion/regalia. Gibson is fond of using both Western and non-Western techniques as the means getting to an end are not so important as the result of their usage.

The art of Jeffrey Gibson is one of the most personal bodies of work found in contemporary art world as this man aims to channel his deepest beliefs and emotions into abstract sculptures, paintings and prints

Jeffrey Gibson - Amazing Grace / Dearly Beloved... And Did You Ger What You Wanted From This Life
Jeffrey Gibson – Amazing Grace / Dearly Beloved… And Did You Ger What You Wanted From This Life?

Celebrating a Multi-Cultural Life

Jeffrey Gibson provides us with a unique investigation of Native American stereotypes observed through the prism of cultural critique, iconography and found objects. Highly aware of his identity and all of its aspects, this man’s art navigates the space between formal abstract language and Native American totems, offering an original set of abstract sculptures, paintings and prints that celebrate multi-cultural lifestyle. In many ways, Jeffrey Gibson opens his soul to the viewers who are observing his work as he tends to channel all the deepest emotions into his art, unfiltered and not willing to compromise on any creative or factual front.

Jeffrey Gibson lives and works in New York City, the United States.

Featured image: Jeffrey Gibson – WE PLAY ENDLESSLY, 2018 (detail). Stained glass and light. 32 × 32 × 2 1/2 in. 81.3 × 81.3 × 6.4 cm. Photo courtesy Kavi Gupta Gallery

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2018Traveling RetrospectiveDenver Art MuseumSolo
2018Jeffrey GibsonRuth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art, Clinton, New YorkSolo
2017Solo showMarc Straus, New York, NYSolo
2017Solo showHaggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, WISolo
2017Solo showRochester Art Center, Rochester, NYSolo
2017Solo showOklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, Oklahoma City, OKSolo
2017Desert X BiennialCoachella Valley, CAGroup
2016Solo showSavannah College of Art and Design Museum, Savannah, GeorgiaSolo
2016SITElines.2016: New Perspectives on Art of the AmericasSITE Santa Fe, New MexicoGroup
2016Kindred Beasts: The Everson BiennialEverson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New YorkGroup
2016ConveneNerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KansasGroup
2016March MadnessFort Gansevoort, New York, New YorkGroup
2016WORDHudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, New YorkGroup
2016Perfect DayRoberts and Tilton, CaliforniaGroup
2015Solo showMARC STRAUS, New York, New YorkSolo
2015Solo showA. Lange & Sohne, New York, New YorkSolo
2015Greater New YorkMoMA PS1, New York, New YorkGroup
2015An Evening Redness in the WestIAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA), Santa Fe, New Mexico Group
2015Between History and Body,Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, New York, New YorkGroup
2015P3Prospect New Orleans, New Orleans, LouisianaGroup
2015Piece by Piece, Building a CollectionKemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MissouriGroup
2015Gray Would Be The Color if I Had a HeartMARC STRAUS, New York, NYGroup
2015Geometries of Difference: New Approaches to Ornament and AbstractionMuseum of Art, New Paltz, New YorkGroup
2014Solo showMARC STRAUS, New York, New YorkSolo
2014Beautiful Games: American Indian Sport and ArtHeard Museum, Phoenix, ArizonaGroup
2014Xigue-XigueMARC STRAUS, New York, New YorkGroup
2014Contemporary American Indian ArtThe Nerman Museum Collection, Overland Park, KansasGroup
2013Solo showLove Song, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MassachusettsSolo
2013Said the Pigeon to the SquirrelNational Academy Museum, New York, New YorkSolo
2013Tipi Poles Performing as LinesCornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park, FloridaSolo
2013The Spirits Refuse Without a BodyShoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica, CaliforniaSolo
2013On DeckMARC STRAUS, New York, New YorkGroup
2013Outside the LinesContemporary Art Museum Houston, Houston, TexasGroup
2013Hotbox ForeverSteven Wolf, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2013TotemAysa Geisberg Gallery, New YorkGroup
2012one becomes the otherParticipant Inc, New York, New YorkSolo
2012one becomes the otherAmerican Contemporary, New York, New YorkSolo
2012ShapeshiftingPeabody Essex Museum, Salem, MassachusettsGroup
2012Peekskill Project VHudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, New YorkGroup
2011Jeffrey Gibson222 Shelby Street, Santa Fe, New MexicoSolo
2011Recent AcquisitionsMuseum of Fine Arts, Linde Wing for Contemporary Art, Boston, MassachusettsGroup
2011Close EncountersPlug-In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg, CanadaGroup
2011Recent AcquisitionsDenver Art Museum, Denver, ColoradoGroup
2011Drift of SummerRM Gallery, Auckland, New ZealandGroup
2010SubmergeArin Contemporary Art, Laguna Beach, CaliforniaSolo
2010The Shades: Jeffrey Gibson and Jackie SaccoccioSamson Projects, Boston, MassachusettsGroup
2010Lush LifeInvisible Exports Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2010Everyday MysticsPatricia Sweetow Gallery, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2010Raw StateShelby Street Gallery, Santa Fe, New MexicoGroup
2010New PaintingsStaley Wise Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2009TotemsSala Diaz, San Antonio, TexasSolo
2008Make It RainDust Gallery, Las Vegas, NevadaGroup
2007ScopeSamson Projects, New York, New YorkSolo
2006Talkin’ SmackSamson Projects, Boston, MassachusettsSolo
2005Indigenous AnomalyAmerican Indian Community House, New YorkSolo
2004The Urge That BindsSamson Projects, Boston, MassachusettsSolo
2001(re)positionsThe Bronx Museum of The Arts, New York, New YorkSolo
1998FeverG.U.N. Gallery, Oslo, NorwaySolo
1997Transitional BodiesHockney Gallery, London, United KingdomSolo