Opening - Gabriel Dubois | I Throw a Stick For You

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This series of abstract paintings and sculptures by Gabriel Dubois- making no identifiable reference to the visible world- must have some claim to exist in their own right if they are to be distinguished from ornament or decoration. Abstraction has become increasingly common in Western art and cultures influenced by symbolism producing art with no recognizable subject, in the traditional sense.

The term abstract expressionism was first used in 1919, in Germany and Russia, to describe the painting of Wassily Kandinski, and again in that context in 1929 by Alfred Barr, Director of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. It was subsequently applied by the The New Yorker critic, Robert Coats in 1946 to the emerging post World War II American painting. Both abstract and figurative stylistically, the term implies loose, rapid paint- handling, distinct shapes, large rhythms, broken colour, uneven saturation of the canvas and pronounced brushwork, as found in the work of De Kooning, Pollock, Kline and Gorky; it also includes more reductive painters (Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, and Ad Reinhardt) who focus on single centralized images expressed in terms of large areas of fields of colour. Hence the term Colour field painting. Abstraction benefitted for a long time from its own unfulfilled ambitions, and where the great drama of art was being played out. As a result representational painters and sculptors found themselves in a defensive position, having a narrowing effect on their art.

Today, conceptual art and its successors retain prestige that comes from its recentness as a genre, but also from its assumption of progress, the summation of all art inherited from abstraction. Painting today is urgent. It is no longer a rebellious gesture against an art discourse defined by painting, but an institutionalized practice, at the administrative level of the art bureaucracy. Such strict adherence to positions taken is no longer required of the serious artists.
Gabriel’s years of experience with graffiti, have paved the way to his ‘go with the flow’ approach, or years of straight house painting, inside and out in all kinds of weather. He’s good with a brush and a roller, painting window trim, halls and walls, to make a living. Maybe these paintings are structures, or some way out of the corner we’ve painted our way into.

Uniquely straddling the doctrines of Street Art, Post Modernism, and Arte Povera, Gabriel Dubois' practice is born out of an innate desire to express and inscribe his heterogeneous life experiences through the formal language of abstraction. A penchant and curiosity for foreign affiliations has lead to international artistic endeavours, promoting a visual practice that is informed by multiple imprints, perspectives, and traditions. Dubois operates primarily as an abstract painter, employing hard edge and gestural components within an absorbing playing-field of deft iconography. Site-specific works, structural installations, sculptures and collage based imagery act as formal counterpoints to his painted compositions.