Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe

1988, Grace Borgenicht Gallery, New York

These works were made in response to an invitation to do a show of works on paper.  At the time I was thoroughly into thinking about and working with what a painting or in this case a work on paper was, considered as an object as well as a space or an image.  

    If it was going to be works on paper then they’d have to be framed, so it would be worth thinking about making works in which the work framed interacted more than usually with what framed it.  I decided that the frame could be thicker on one side than the other, and it could be orientated to the drawing within the gouache it framed rather than to its edges.  I had already done a show of paintings where the walls were painted the same color as the paintings, and mostly made these works with frames that were the color of the gouache inside.  I floated the gouaches on a photographic enlargement of the interior of the gouache—this is most dramatic in Leftward Seduction, where the photographic enlargement of the d’Arches paper makes the matt look like the surface of the moon.  I used plexiglass because these are works in which the qualities of plastic rather than glass seemed appropriate.  I think plastic surfaces have a lot in common with photographic surfaces (more than ever in the age of video, etc, obviously) and that the plexi resonates with the photographic matt better than glass could.  

(I guess that had I been working when photography still included glass plates, I should have seen a kind of resonation having to do with association between glass and photograph, but nowadays glass seems to be neutral, belonging to neither photo nor the room it’s in, just like a window.)