For over fifty years, Norman Gilbert lived and labored on Glasgow’s south facet, portray intimate, home scenes of his spouse Pat, their 4 youngsters, and his prolonged household of pals and neighbours. His distinctive, vibrant work got here to counterpoint their lives and the encircling space, and now guests to Tramway gallery will have the ability to bask of their brilliance too.
That is as a result of the Glasgow gallery is operating the primary solo hometown exhibition of his work from September third 2022, during till February fifth 2023. And in addition to showcasing Gilbert’s vivid and deftly composed work, guests will even have the ability to see samples of his pencil research, textile work, and associated objects and ephemera from his studio.
Over greater than six many years, Gilbert labored from his studio primarily based within the household dwelling amid interlacing patterns and motifs which might come to be echoed in his artwork. These embrace the 1970’s fashions of his teenage youngsters and printed textiles created by his spouse Pat to the architectural motifs of their Victorian tenement.
When Gilbert’s work, it is easy to see why he has grow to be so beloved. “Utilizing sample to dynamic impact, Gilbert democratically adorns each intricate element of the portray, exaggerating outlines and contours to construct depth and spatial complexity”, explains the gallery in an announcement.
“This method mixed together with his ingenious narrative eye attracts audiences into the work inviting them into Gilbert’s world through which the every day rhythms and intimacies of household life are teased out.” In Gilbert’s personal phrases, “every color and form enhances each different color and form, so it is totally passable, so it is at peace.”
In addition to blurring the traces between artwork and life by depicting every thing from the magnificent to the banal, Gilbert’s work have additionally grow to be a poignant technique to mark the passage of time. In them, we are able to see how fashions change, youngsters develop, and his topics’ age and life unfold. One of the crucial notable examples of that is the work which tracks his 4 sons as they develop up, forge relationships, and have youngsters of their very own.
Eager-eyed viewers will even discover that he created many portraits of his spouse, Pat. These continued into previous age, with characteristically titled items similar to ‘Chair’ and ‘Pat’ evoking the advanced intimacies that make up an internal emotional world. Within the phrases of his son Mark “Dad’s footage are a young and affectionate testomony to his life and the relationships that nourished him.”
Gilbert continued to color nicely into his nineties and thru till the ultimate years of his life. When there was no one to take a seat for his work, he turned to his backyard and nature for inspiration, making superbly detailed footage of vegetation. Acquainted objects similar to chairs, tables and ceramics would proceed to be dependable topics too, however he all the time discovered new methods to strategy and interpret them.
Tramway provides: “The works on easels’ Vegetation, Patchwork and Two Inexperienced Chairs’ have been the ultimate work Gilbert made on the age of 92, and the portray’s colors will be seen in his palette offered alongside the works within the exhibition.”
An attendee of the Glasgow College of Artwork, Gilbert’s work has been the topic of many solo exhibitions world wide through the years. Nonetheless, that is the primary time his hometown has held a solo exhibition for the painter whose joyful vivacity got here to outline the realm.
“His canvases have been created over months by way of a meticulous course of through which Gilbert first created the portray as a pencil drawing, following this as a black and white painted examine earlier than transferring on to the ultimate model in color,” provides the gallery. “Lots of the black and white research, unbelievable work in their very own proper, are exhibited right here at Tramway.”