On Ewan Gibbs's Urban Portraiture

Related Exhibition Ewan Gibbs

Tuesday, April 06, 2010, 12:00 p.m.

Phyllis Wattis Theater

British artist Ewan Gibbs has created an urban portrait of San Francisco in 18 drawings, currently on view on the third-floor landing. Using only pencil marks of slashes or circles of varying line weights, Gibbs has devised a working technique that translates an image into a systematic grid. From a distance, the delicate drawings reveal obscured images of several of the city's landmarks with subtle shifts in light and dark. Up close, one sees the same tiny hand-drawn gesture repeated row after row. In this talk, Fletcher will present a study of the drawings' artistic lineage in Impressionism and Conceptualism with a distant relationship to Pop and architectural drawings.


Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, assistant curator of architecture and design, SFMOMA

Image: Ewan Gibbs, San Francisco, 2009; pencil on paper; commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, courtesy the artist and Timothy Taylor Gallery, London; © Ewan Gibbs