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Erin Jenkins

John Gibson’s work is currently on view in the window bays of the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.

The Arts

Museum artist to offer virtual studio tour

BMAC hosts live-streamed event, discussion with John Gibson on Aug. 13

For more information, visit brattleboromuseum.org.

BRATTLEBORO—The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) presents a free studio tour via Zoom and Facebook Live with artist John Gibson on Thursday, Aug. 13, at 7:30 p.m.

Gibson’s work is currently on view in BMAC’s window bays.

In 2018, BMAC Director Danny Lichtenfeld approached Gibson, of Greenfield, Mass., about creating an installation for the Museum’s front windows.

“I found the prospect of working with the windows thrilling,” Gibson said in a news release. “First of all, the building itself is such a remarkable example of early 20th-century industrial architecture and is such a crucial part of Brattleboro’s cityscape. Secondly, I had never worked on such a scale or in such a site-specific and public way before.”

For his BMAC installation, titled “Jazz,” Gibson said, “I began to work with pieces of paintings that might or might not be connected to each other behind the stone walls between the windows. This created an illusion that giant balls were actually inside the Museum, rolling around in the galleries.”

For the Aug. 13 studio tour, a socially-distanced camera operator will follow Gibson through his studio. Afterward, Lichtenfeld will interview the artist, taking questions from the virtual audience.

For more than 30 years, Gibson has focused primarily on paintings of balls, often decorated with dots or stripes.

“I paint balls because they are the most fundamentally different thing from the flat surface of a painting that I can think of,” Gibson said. “Every day, I try to wring a ‘real’ ball out of a flat surface, and every day I can’t quite do it.

“In the good paintings, there is some residue of that effort, and in the best paintings, there is a lot. In many ways, the subject of these paintings — at least for me — is just that residue: a wish for something that cannot be had, a version of a ball overlaid with desire.”

Gibson holds a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design and an M.F.A. from Yale University. His work is exhibited regularly, including solo exhibitions in Paris, New York, and San Francisco, and is included in the public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

In 2014, BMAC presented a solo exhibition of his work titled “Opposing Forces.”

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Originally published in The Commons issue #573 (Wednesday, August 5, 2020). This story appeared on page A7.

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