Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe

Pink Group, 2000s-2010s

The Pink Group began in 2001, and started with me thinking I should do something centered, as I had for years worked mostly with the format of a margin added on to a square: the frontal mostly filled with color, all the things done by drawing—repetition and non-repetition, order, proportion—kept on the side.  They were and mostly are pink, perhaps because pink is always a cloud as much or more than a form, while the vertical and symmetrical imply a figure or the space occupied by one.  Pink Desert and More Middle-Class Pleasure are among other works had moved me towards pink before with regard to this aspect of naturalistic color, and also movement and formlessness.

    Some of them are named after places, sometimes but not always the relationship between the color or atmosphere of the place named is quite direct but in other cases not.  For example, in the case of Budapester Strasse (2012) it is, the windows in the street all seem to echo Schinkel in a particularly compelling way;  while in the case of Paris (2005,) it isn’t.    

    To me at least, the Pink Group consists of elaborate works that are small, lots of optical space in spaces that are actually small.  Persian miniatures are always on my mind.  They usually contain or present a lot of action that you have to look at closely because miniatures are small.  One can’t only look at anything that small, one finds oneself looking into it, more quickly than is the case with a large work. I painted a couple of paintings the same size and putting one of them in a row with framed gouaches means that the images are all the same size but the gouaches’ frames make them each take up more space than a painting.  This also means one sees the gouaches (of course) through glass but the paintings not, which also comes in to what it is to see them together.  And when they are hung together it becomes clear how one looks into a small work on paper more readily than at a painting of the same size.  It has something to do with looking at anything on painting being related to reading, it’s almost easy to forget what kind of paper it’s on while looking at it, while a painting is an object and one cannot look into it more than one looks at it.  

    None of the Pink Group has led to a larger work, I think this means that they are wholly resolved as what they are.