We open 2018 with a solo exhibition of extraordinary paintings by 91 year old artist Norman Gilbert.
When I first set eyes on these paintings
they sparked something in me that can only be described as excitement and after
having visited Norman is his bright Glasgow Georgian studio I have realized that
these paintings are indeed very special. They are paintings that never stop
Oil paintings on a gesso ground with
vibrant and decorative use of colour and pattern enlighten the senses. They are generous and delightful insights
into intimate family life normally unseen by an outsider. I felt like an observer,
looking upon an endearing scene yet they had the power to make me feel
welcome. There is an interesting
synthesis between figure and space, a union perhaps and the more I look the
richer they become. They are calming,
vital and full of integrity.
Norman Gilbert has a long and fascinating
story to tell, born in Trinidad in 1926 he moved when very young to Glasgow
where he attended Glasgow college of Art. Thereafter like many artists in
penury and a family to support he looked for alternative work to help pay the
bills whilst he painted. He found
himself living in a caravan on a farm tending 200 pigs. Whilst this wasn't ideal it allowed him to
pursue his love and passion for art. Norman Gilbert has now painted for nearly 70
years but his work is as fresh and as current as any young artist in practice
today. In a critical art world that never stops changing Norman Gilbert’s work
has never been more valid. 51 years ago a review of Norman’s paintings appeared
in ‘Vogue’ magazine, this body of work surpasses ‘au courant’ but instead
imbues the sense of timelessness with a wholesome quality that is rare
attribute in contemporary art.
There is a lot to be celebrated here and it
is with pleasure that we can bring this exhibition to you.