Fitzroy Gallery is pleased to announce Dead Language, an exhibition of new paintings, screen-printed mirrors, and works on paper by the artist Gibb Slife. This is Slife’s first solo show at Fitzroy Gallery.
Gibb Slife’s fictionalized tabloids, newspapers, handbills and advertisements promote a world without causation or linear logic. His syntactic slices, double-meanings, tongue slips, and visual sleights are gratifying, yet destabilizing. Like a sauced semiotician, the work is at once explicit and unhinged. Headlines are emphatically abstruse: Enlightenment Too Dissolute for Redistribution; Sleestak Haze – Pilot Encounters Uncanny Apparition; Vexation Befalls Foreign Thieves; New Time Zone – Decades, Eras and Epochs Replaced.
In Dead Language we enter a shifting world based on chance and fracture. A world where Kurt Schwitters smacks his head on Kippenberger’s lampost, while Ogden Nash spins tricks over grammatical fissures. Instead of mourning the supposed loss of objectivity, Slife’s work delights with obfuscations. It is a method dedicated to coincidence, condensation, incongruity, and metonymy. What Gibb Slife’s work accomplishes is a transformation: one in which the visual and linguistic muck of contemporary culture becomes the rich ground of our aesthetic pleasure.
--Daniel Lefcourt, 2011
The mercurial function of daily newspapers allows Slife to manipulate that particular language to produce work that asks more questions than it answers, yielding an incongruous accumulation of information. The mirrors free the newspaper content from subjectivity, producing a commemorative object of sorts, emphasizing purported fact even though it is fiction. The collage paintings are more volatile, suggesting the inconstant temper of the tabloids.
Gibb Slife was born in 1975 in Cleveland, Ohio. He received his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 1997. His work most recently appeared in Bowry Lane, at the Charles Bank Gallery, New York, and he has had solo exhibitions at Mitterrand + Sanz/Contemporary, Zurich; and Galerie Pixi - Marie Victoire Poliakoff, Paris. His work has been included in group exhibitions at Gagosian, New York and White Columns, New York. Slife lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
A compilation of Gibb Slife’s texts will be published in conjunction with the exhibition.
The exhibition will be open to the public Friday, February 4 and will remain on view through Saturday, March 19. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, February 3 from 6 – 8 PM. Fitzroy Gallery is located at 77 Mercer Street, between Spring and Broome Streets, in SoHo. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 AM to 6 PM. For further information, please call 212.343.8670 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.