PYO Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Los Angeles based artist, James Gilbert. A Historic Point of Interest and other Landmarks features a large-scale site-specific work that will consume the gallery space, and a collection of small sculptures address current intentional destructive actions that destroy architecturally important and significant cultural heritage sites. Gilbert writes of his work – “Natural disasters and accidents are inevitable but it is human aggression where we experience the loss of art, architecture and historical sites that are neither designed nor intends to be destroyed. To deliberately eradicate identity is to eradicate art and objects of symbolic meaning. We have witnessed systematic destruction of heritage as an attempt to destroy cultural diversity through religious or ideological reasoning, political agenda, activism or cultural curation. The sledgehammer, bullet, bomb, water or earthquake perform the destruction - I wanted to reimagine an object that is simultaneously a symbol and protectant. When building barricades for fortification in front of and around culturally significant objects and architecture they then become the new identity and description for the object they are protecting. Through the use of common art making materials: canvas, marble and wood, they are reinterpreted as devices to defend, deter or lessen destruction but also form a new autonomous work to be visited, viewed and contemplated.”
Gilbert’s work involves the labor-intensive process of hand sewing and hand-dyeing hundreds of visually dense canvas objects that weigh upon or support fragile wood structures that remind us of relief carvings, elaborately designed doors, buttresses, architectural joints and bridges. The site-specific work will be built directly into the architecture of intentionally destroyed gallery walls while also spanning across the gallery. The smaller works will be more delicate architectural gestures utilizing wood, marble and thick layers of poured paint.
James Gilbert’s has been awarded international grants to produce work in the United States, Denmark and Columbia and residencies at Centraltrak: The University of Texas, Dallas and Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha. His work has been exhibited museums, galleries and universities in The United States, China, South Korea, Colombia, Denmark and has been reviewed in such publications as ArtForum, Artillery, Hyperallergic and Sculpture Magazine.