In The Space of Trees, Gilbert Gorski brings together paintings created over the past two years, an assemblage of works inspired by the wooded areas around his home in western Pennsylvania. The show opens at Principle Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia, on October 19.
Gallery director Clint Mansell notes, “Gilbert Gorski uses a mixture of pointillist and traditional painting techniques to construct his mesmerizing landscapes. Seeing them in person is the only way to experience the depth, atmosphere and the expansive vistas they depict.”
Though Gorski accepts the pointillist label, he says, “I’m more interested in pixelation. I’m really interested in how digital images are made of squares of color. I think I’m more of a pixelist than a pointillist.”
Gorski is particularly excited about a series of elongated paintings, created in part as a challenge for people to experience the works in person. He says, “Digital reproductions favor graphic images with more squarish proportions.” In his subtle paintings, Gorski
employs thousands of sculpted brushstrokes that transcend the two-dimensional surface.
“Paintings can be electric,” he says. “Historically, photography displaced painting, but photography has become so accessible it is now commonplace. Paintings by contrast remain special because they are singular works. They are communications with the artist.” He recalls seeing a Rembrandt in person, seeing the artist’s fingerprints and the bristles of his paintbrush embedded into the work, and feeling a connection despite the centuries that separated their lives. “That connection is why I pursued painting,” he says.
In Eleganza, fireflies of light shimmer across the canvas, adding movement to the landscape. It’s a scene that he’s intimately familiar with. “There’s an old trail that follows a creek near my home, and that’s one of my favorite places for inspiration,” Gorski says. “I like the idea of painting what I know well. There are intimate moments, when the light is just right, or the season complements it just right. I look for the extraordinary in the ordinary.”
The Space of Trees remains on view at Principle Gallery through November 13.
1Gilbert Gorski with Rembrandt.2Symphonica, oil on linen, 16 x 72"1