Alicia Gibson and Carol John
December 15th, 2018- January 12th, 2019
Howard’s is proud to present an exhibition of paintings by New York based Alicia Gibson and Athens, Georgia based Carol John. The show will be up from December 15th to January 12th, and will run concurrently with John Fahey at Tif Sigfrids, and Michael Stipe, Jeremy Dance (organized by Daniel Fuller) at Sigfrids/Howard's. The opening reception will be Saturday, December 15th from 4-6pm.
Both Alicia and Carol approach painting with an exuberance and improvisational spirit. In one sense, they belong to a process driven, expressionistic American painting tradition. The works are always in flux. Even when resolved, an energy of invention and chance persists. They constantly move, change, and grow- each mark a response to the prior. Both artists also play in the language of pop art and signage. While their meandering painterliness may hint at interiority, the paintings are made for a public space. Text, pop graphics, and appropriated images render the surface of the canvas as a place of exchange and consideration. They reach outward while indulging in internal logic and poetics. Both artists revel in an energized space between the interior and exterior.
Carol John’s paintings radiate color and patterned zeal. Interlocking shapes, symbols, and letters are spun together with zest. Bright reds, oranges, and rich blues snap off of her canvases. They are optically dazzling, and unapologetically visual. Familiar quips (like Oh and huh) and phonetical spellings of artists’ names (like mon-dree-ahn), pull from a shared consciousness with humor and wit. Her teardrops, polka dots, and rainbows reinvigorate cliché and toy with the familiar. Her work is in simultaneous conversation with Stuart Davis, Alfred Jenson, Marjorie Strider, and Lily van der Stokker.
Alicia Gibson’s paintings are a web of exclamations, images, and painterly overtures. Wildly varied in style, they often recall high school notebook doodles- random collections of momentary feelings and personal admissions. They are a celebration of favorite musicians (Kurt, Townes van Zandt), cats, and Diet Coke. Her content is joyously low-brow and pop, and her aesthetic impulses are gritty and baroque. For all of their outward jest, the paintings hold a sense of vulnerability, filled with raw emotion and unfiltered thoughts. We are given clues about the relationships and personal mini-dramas that occupy her mind. Her paintings live somewhere between Warhol, Oldenburg, Basquiat, Rene Ricard, Katherine Bernhardt, and even Howard Finster.
Carol John was born in Camden, NJ, and now lives and works in Athens, Georgia. She received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts, in New York. She will be included in the forthcoming Atlanta Biennial at the Atlanta Contemporary, curated by Daniel Fuller and Philip March Jones. Recent exhibitions include Ivy Brown Gallery in New York, Hathaway Gallery in Atlanta, Poem 88 Gallery in Atlanta, and the Lamar Dodd galleries at the University of Georgia. Her work is in the collection of the High Museum of Art, in Atlanta. She has been written about in New York Magazine, Burnaway, ArtsAtl, Flagpole, and many others.
Alicia Gibson lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She was born in Manhasset, NY, and spent her formative years in South Carolina. Gibson received her MFA from Hunter College, BA from Boston College, a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from the Boston Museum School. She has had solo exhibitions at Marvin Gardens, Brooklyn; CANADA, New York; Loyal Gallery, Stockholm; Real Estate, Brooklyn; Julius Caesar Gallery, Chicago. Selected group exhibitions include First Ever and Only East Hampton Biennial, curated by Woobie Bogus and Adrianne Rubenstein, East Hampton, NY; Fort Greene, curated by Adrianne Rubenstein, Venus over LA, Los Angeles, CA; Hill of Munch, curated by Brian Belott, Rachel Uffner, New York; The Breeder, Athens; Lyles and King, New York; Derek Eller, New York. She is represented by Loyal Gallery in Stockholm. She has been written about in Frieze, Artnews, the New York Times, Hyperallergic, among others.