Saturday, April 29, 2006

Steams Up

GIPE, Lawerence Steams Up 1995 Aquatint, scrapping and screenprint sheet: 26 x 30-1/4 in. (66.0 x 76.8 cm.) 1998.5.56

In these recent series of drawings, Lawrence Gipe continues to explore issues of ideology, technology and aesthetics through the deconstruction of propaganda imagery, using a new process that he calls "postDrawing". Forgoing the blank ground that is the starting point of conventional drawing, Gipe begins with an image-laden surface that is prepared using various digital media. The collaged images are digitally manipulated, enlarged and printed on banner vinyl; Gipe then reworks the images with oil pastel and paint, producing a hybridized work that exploits the flexibility of the computer without sacrificing the touch of the artist.

Lawrence Gipe's work is concerned with modes of visual propaganda in the 20th Century. His use of stunning heroic imagery, culled and researched from newspaper, magazine, advertising and government archives forces us to reflect on the ground we stand on at the end of the 20th Century. The imagery itself comes from early and mid-century and normally illicit feelings of pride, confidence, heroism and optimism, but at this moment we must appraise man's projected utopia of 20th Century "advances". At this threshold of a new millennia we have the results of our progress, and the challenge of treading through the difficult balances awaiting us. Gipe is a superb painter and draftsman, painting with a limited palate his work makes us think, but its always handsome and bold.

Lawrence Gipe "elements.hammers.1939" Oil on panel 2004 This image is part of a suite of 8 monotypes. Each piece is 48" x 32" or 32" x 48", printed on Rives BFK in 1996 and created at Pelavin Editions.

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