White light passage

1999
Stainless steel
600 x 100 x 60 cm
Edition of 1

Architectural in title and scale, White Light Passage is a drawing in space. The outline and detail are described with the linear device of stainless steel rods. Responsive to the light, these rods absorb and reflect their surroundings, which results in changing degrees of presence. Gibbons’s previous work included welding found metals into large and complex compositions. In White Light Passage, he has used differing types of stainless steel bars to form some of the detail of the work. Gibbons also reveals his interest in welded joints, which are here clearly visible and integral to the composition. In a catalogue essay on John Gibbons’s work, Sculpture (November 2011), the American writer and critic Karen Wilkin referred to these pieces as “caged sculpture”, a relevant phrase for works of containment and transparency. The circular motif in the centre of White Light Passage gives pause in an otherwise rectilinear formation, and the proportions and upright posture of the work provides the sculpture with an unexpected figurative element contributing a human, personal side, to this bold, architectural work.

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About The Artist

Gibbons’ early work was made partly as a reaction against conceptual art, where the ideas or concepts held supremacy over the object. Gibbons’ work has always been concerned with pure physicality, with an emphasis on materials, form and construction. His materials have included scrap steel, bronze, and virgin stainless steel sheets and bars. In the late seventies, Gibbons made some small–scale pieces in lead, which because of its malleability required a different approach, resulting in sculptures that were compacted and folded in alternative ways. Deeply textural, his works are often designed to be located in unusual environments and in this way his works are meant to be inherently juxtapositional and integrally unsettling.

John Gibbons

Born: 1949

Other Artworks by John Gibbons at CASS

2005

Angels V, VI, VII

John Gibbons has said that his sculptures are "to do with the experience of being alive". Certainly, when one first sees…

2007

ThereIn

Therein exemplifies Gibbons' artistic practice which places emphasis on his works' methods of construction, their physic…

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