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Ewan Gibbs, 1973
Gibbs’ interest in travel imagery began 15 years ago when he started making drawings based on photographs found in holiday brochures. Early series included the Typical Interiors of Mediterranean villas and the facades of city hotels. Since 2000, Gibbs has predominantly used his own photographs from which to work.

Fascinated by the familiarity that draws the viewer into a recognisable subject - whether a view of New York, London or Paris - Gibbs photographs the ready-made scenes that consistently appeal tourists universally.  The resultant works, stripped of colour, detail and photographic clarity, leave an impression of a still recognisable scene made up of row upon row of hand-drawn slash marks hung on the scaffold of an invisible grid scored into the paper. Gibbs’ drawings present this familiarity in a reductive and minimalist language, while simultaneously retaining a sense of the artist’s careful hand.

With a photograph one expects to see greater detail upon closer inspection, yet the illusion created in Gibbs’ drawings actually dissolves the closer one gets, and instead reveals the intricate detail of the mark making. This repetition of marks serves to deny an easy resting place for the eye, and it is only when standing back from the work that one can attempt to arrest and understand the image.

Born in 1973, Gibbs graduated from Goldsmiths College of Art in 1996. In 2009, Gibbs was chosen as the artist to represent the Armory show and in 2010 he was commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to make a series of drawings based on the city, which were exhibited as part of their 75th anniversary celebrations. In 2014, Gibbs co-curated an extensive exhibition of Lichtenstein drawings at the FLAG Foundation, New York

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Ewan Gibbs – Timothy Taylor