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Jon Gabb



I explore the transformative possibilities of paint. The layers of paint are plasticised and cast, preserving their liquid qualities, while allowing new applications, new possibilities to be imagined.

The hanging works are investigations of the sculptural possibilities of paint as a medium. The threads or ribbons of paint evoke a fluid painterly quality, interacting with the enclosing volume, and promoting interaction with the viewer.

They are extreme workings of the plasticity of the acrylic medium. The sculptures are on the edge of the paints purpose; the invented practice is non-idealistic and as such the material's function re-interprets itself.

The very act of making positive cast of paint, manipulating when dry and then cutting into threads repeatedly reverses the typically perceived 'easy quality' of lyrical abstract painting through an industrious method, yet at the end of it they retain and reiterate a painterly quality.

"Artworks that contain elements of opposition, ambiguity, ambivalence, contradiction and transformation often intrigue the most and Jonathan Gabb’s sculptural paintings confound at every turn.  For a start they begin as flat colour-fields – large plastic sheets coated in a mixture of single-hue acrylic pigment and PVA glue.  But then Gabb slits each rectangle into a fringe of strips.  Still attached by at least one edge, and affixes the frayed sheets in pairs or groups, of different colours, to the walls or ceiling, re-arranging the hanging strands into configurations of drapes and loops.  Each individual strip now functions as a line or mark in what has become a vibrant, three-dimensional, multicoloured installation.  It’s almost as if Gabb had taken something of the cool colour field paintings of Barnet Newman and turned them into something like the gestural action paintings of Jackson Pollock, without in any way resembling either." Helen Sumpter, 2013, excerpt from Helen Sumpter's essay, SYSTEM Exhibition Catalogue, 2013

To view the online version of Jonathan's Exhibition Catalogue for SYSTEM at WW Gallery please go to http://t.co/BmcFyIRmg6 (copy and paste the link into your browser if it does not direct you to it)

Qualifications and training

2008 BA Fine Art (first class), London Metropolitan University, London, UK

Solo exhibitions

2013 SYSTEM, WW Gallery, 34/35 Hatton Garden, London, UK

Group exhibitions

2013 Loopart 13, The Faircharm, Creekside, Deptford, London

2012 Solo Award Group 2012, WW Gallery, 34/35 Hatton Garden, London, UK

2010 Unspilt Peak Problem, Royal College of Art, 15-25 Howie street, London, UK

2009 Unwanted Sights and Sounds, etc Gallery, 1a Damley road, London, UK


2012 WW Solo Residency, WW Gallery, 34/35 Hatton Garden, London, UK

Competitions, prizes and awards

2012 WW Solo Award Winner, WW Gallery, 34/35 Hatton Garden, London, UK


2013 Art of England Review

2013 Jonathan Gabb SYSTEM Exhibition Catalogue, WW Gallery


2013 -

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