Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe

Paintings, late 2000s


With one exception the paintings on this page were in my show at Alex Grey’s in 2008.  Pynchon is a complicated painting in my view, it tries to be dense but clear in the way his novels are.  The other painting are in contrast straightforward, in that one can see them all at once and then think about that as you go along.  The two works that would follow these, Emmanuel Shinwell etc. (2009) and More (2010) are not like that.  In them one has to think about parts of the painting in the course of developing a thought about the work as a whole, one’s first thought is that one is looking at something that will take some time to unfold.  Pynchon looks forwards to them in this respect, as it also recalls some earlier works.  Did I just See a Leopard? on the other hand, or Thoughts in a Garden or Up, are paintings which will become more intense as one looks at them, but one will not necessarily see new detail, and there are no big changes of mood or speed as in the later two or small ones either as in Pynchon.  This is because they are about stillness in the presence of or adjacent to imperceptible movement.  Did I just See a Leopard? refers to my having read that that’s what it’s always like.  You only ever think you might have just seen one.  They’re too fast for one to ever be sure.  Mondrian said he wanted to paint the sound of telegraph poles and posters.  When in a garden there is always sound, buzzing and other signs of movement, it goes with the stillness that it also qualifies.  Up names an unspecified location that is also a movement, to move up is also to move upwards. The painting works like the Romantics’ point about how the waterfall is actually water falling but it looks like (strikes us as) a column, upright rather than a descending movement.  In Up the action of going up is what you look at.