Art Daily, Two simultaneous solo shows by Graham Gillmore and Charles Linder open at Gallery 16, 11/2015
Graham Gillmore, renowned Canadian artist presents “Your Proportions Are Not That Exquisite”. The title is drawn from a text in one of Gillmore’s paintings that seems to puncture the balloon of the current Selfie culture.
He is best known for his extraordinary paintings that use text as subject. In a 2013 review of Gillmore’s work critic Kenneth Baker wrote “Words worm their way into contemporary art because they worm their way into consciousness. Yet they seem particularly alien to painting. The work of Vancouver native Graham Gillmore at Gallery 16 exploits the bumptious quality of words, especially in the mind’s ear, to fine comic effect. He baits our readiness to assume that the voice represented in an artist’s work must be his own."
Thomas Breidenbach wrote about Gillmore’s work in ArtForum “Exploring the word as image, and the image as word, Graham Gilmore twists the knife of a smartass remark, the threatening anonymity of a clinical evaluation. Employing puns and punch lines both lewd and mawkish, and referencing clichés, board games, rebuses, barroom banter, and graffiti, his paintings are by subtle turns playful, earnest, and caustic.”
Graham Gillmore’s work is collected by the Museum of Modern Art, the Ghent Museum, Gian Enzo Sperone, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, The Royal Bank of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and numerous other institutions worldwide.
Charles Linder is well known figure in the Bay Area art scene. He founded the seminal exhibition space Refusalon in the early 1990’s, as well as Lincart. Charles will present his fourth solo exhibition at Gallery 16, Invisible Fencing Luminaries. The show will include new sculptural work and paintings. For his fourth solo exhibition at Gallery 16, the artist presents work that use the metaphor of the fence.
“I’m thinking of my current work as fencing; the paintings are literally fences between my world and the viewers. Throughout my career, I’ve relied on friends and mentors to point out to me what isn’t working. For me, becoming a better artist has meant knowing when and where to move my fences.”
Linder’s art has long been the tangible remnant of his lifestyle. For some, the merger of art and life is an intellectual process, more thought than action. John Cage famously said “Ideas are one thing and what happens is another.” For Charles Linder, the integration of his life and his artwork is unconscious. He is an instigator of experiences. He uses poetry, punning, humor and a witty intelligence to make beautiful objects from cultural detritus.
SF GATE, A wordy Graham Gillmore at Gallery 16, by Kenneth Baker, 3/22/2013
Words worm their way into contemporary art because they worm their way into consciousness. Yet they seem particularly alien to painting.
The work of Vancouver native Graham Gillmore at Gallery 16 exploits the bumptious quality of words, especially in the mind's ear, to fine comic effect.
The big painting "Mysticism Scale" (2013) is typical only in its ventriloquism. It baits our readiness to assume that the voice represented in an artist's work must be his own.
But phrases such as "I have had an experience that is both timeless and spaceless" and "I have had an experience in which all things seemed to be conscious" derive from a true-or-false version of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, a questionnaire designed to etch, in professional hands, profiles of an individual's character.
In "Mysticism Scale" (2013) and several other pieces here, Gillmore seems to have painted over thickly layered gesso into which he then scored text with a router.
The dissonance between sleek, dreamy color glazes and white-knuckled incisings gives the painting a psychic tension as suggestive of pathologically foiled introspection as any questionnaire's answers.
Gillmore's texts range from goofy homonymic puns such as "sigh co. farm ecology" to a raffish sequence you cannot see coming as it passes from "Mondrian" through "wetdream," "mondream," "metdream" and other steps, back to Mondrian.
Forms that suggest comics words - or thought balloons - and looping lines of the sort that players string through word puzzles run through Gillmore's pictures like errant circuitry.
In the luminous drawing "GG Marginalized" (2013), concentric lines clouded by blobs straight out of Mark Kostabi, paint Gillmore's initials - the only ciphers present - into a corner: ventriloquism minimized.
Since found objects entered sculpture about a century ago, the art has concerned itself with where things fit - in space, in context, in history.