“An important aspect of both of these designs is that they don’t recall any familiar balls that I know of.” – John Gibson
June 18 – July 20, you can see artist John Gibson’s latest works in a new show, “Inter-play,” at the J.H. Muse Gallery. If you know the Muse, you are very familiar with his paintings of patterned balls. I first thought of these as portraits of cue balls, though the patterns and colors clearly say they are not. But Gibson is obsessed with pattern. He’s so obsessed, he’s written an essay about it. And if you, like me, find his prodigious and in-plain-sight paintings enigmatic–the Muse Gallery has a soft spot for the enigmatic–here are some excerpts from Gibson’s website, specifically from his essay “Patterns,” that discuss his passion for repetition. Twenty years. That’s how long Gibson has been finding continued renewal in his subject. It’s a lot about math, movement, Maori and…scavenger hunting.
“The balls are wrapped with patterns I’ve found in mathematical textbooks, art museums, toy stores and tag sales. Choosing the right pattern is really important. It’s crucial to the question of how the balls turn in space and to how you get from one ball to another. The patterns are the way the paintings move.”
“What attracted me to [a] design was its forward and backward rhythm, which seemed to reflect the swelling and contracting of the ball itself….If I paint them correctly, the stripes wrap around the form of the ball enhancing its volume, its roundness. Those same stripes can also be read as flat–like an exotic wallpaper….”
“For me, the wooden ball lacked the tensions between opposites that the paintings possessed. I missed being confused. I was also reminded of a painter’s fundamental impulse towards opposing forces of all kinds….The best patterns have been the ones that make those issues explicit…and become, like the ball itself, familiar and mysterious at the same time.”
An opening reception takes place Thursday, June 25, 5-8 pm. JH Muse Gallery is located at 62 South Glenwood, in Jackson. www.jhmusegallery.com.