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Art Reception: Wally Gilbert

March 20, 2018

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Location: Cafe
Time: 4:30PM - 6:30PM
Wally Presents: 5:30PM


Nobel Laureate Wally Gilbert is world renowned for his work as a scientist, working in Molecular Biology on genes and DNA.  Together with Fred Sanger he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1980, for solving the mystery of DNA sequencing. Specifically, for finding ways to decipher the order of chemical groups along the DNA molecule and make it possible to read genomic sequences. These discoveries have driven the development of Biology as a gene-based science across the last four decades, led to the Human Genome program, and our current understanding of all organisms.  


I began making digital images as art when I discovered that I could make large prints from images taken with a small digital camera and that these prints carried an emotional and aesthetic impact. My earliest work was of fragments of the visual world, either portions of natural scenes or of man’s architectural or industrial artifacts.  My first one-person show included a 48” x 72” image made from a two mega-pixel camera.

I was invited to Poland, to do an installation at the Norblin Site in Warsaw, by Jan Kubasiewicz and Josef Piwkowski. These photographs of decaying machinery were installed in Warsaw in the Summer of 2007 as twenty-six 12’ x 8’ hangings and thirty 36” x 24” prints, face-mounted on plexi-glass. This show was exhibited again in Lodz and in Poznan.

After photographing dancers in the ballet, I went on to explore abstractions, first in a “Vanishing” series, that was based on a natural form, the outline of a human head. The many patterns produced in that series all shared some aspect of a biological or natural curve, which still was manifest even in the smallest cropping of those images. 

In my later work the basic element was a straight, shaded line, which I used to create geometric patterns. The “Geometric Series” explored patterns in color or black-and-white created from overlapping squares or triangles or just from lines, taken either simply or in intersecting groups.  

I make many images by hand on the computer.  The computer simply holds the intermediate forms as I superpose the many layers I create to build up the image.  The images begin in black and white, and then I color them in the computer.  I generate these colors either by accessing the colors available or, in a more complicated fashion, by using the ability to change the global input-output functions for each color and intensity separately.  When the layers containing the colored images interact with each other, still more color patterns appear.  The computer is a digital workspace, driven by my hand and eye.

My most recent work involves photographs moved to extreme values in color space yielding strange color contrasts further superimposed on each other.  These images exemplify my delight in light and form, and my search for a three-dimensional effect on a two-dimensional surface.  I search for depth beyond the picture plane and for mystery.

Selected Solo Exhibitions:

“Towers,” Viridian Gallery, Chelsea, NYC (2017)

“Doors to Nowhere,’  Salon R, Cambridge, MA (2017)

“Broken City,” Khaki Gallery, Boston, MA (2016)

“Journeying,” Permanent exhibition, AGH University, Krakow, Poland (2016)

“Broken City” Viridian Gallery, Chelsea, NYC (2016)                                                   

“Patterns & Recognition,” Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, curated by Chang and Jae Kim (2015-2016)

“Transformations,” Viridian Artists, Chelsea, NYC (2014)

“Patterns & Recognition,” The Howard Hughes Medical Institure, Janelia Farm, VA (2014)

“Wally Gilbert,” CJ Gallery, Art San Diego 2013, San Diego, CA (2013)

“Wally Gilbert:  A Room of Light,” Milton Art Museum, Canton, MA  (2013)

“Wally Gilbert:  Black & White,” Khaki Gallery, Boston, MA (2013)

“Digital Constellations,” Lindau City Museum, Lindau, Germany (2013)

“Wally Gilbert:  New Black and White Images,” Viridian Artists, Chelsea, NYC (2013)

“Wally Gilbert”, CJ Gallery, Art San Diego 2012, San Diego, CA (2012)

“En-Lighten,” Khaki Gallery, Boston, MA (2012)

“Journeying,” The Artemis Gallery, Krakow, Poland, curated by Wieslawa Piotrowska-Sowadska (2012)

“Pattern & Recognition,” The Art Gallery, Antelope Valley College, Lancaster, CA (2012)

“Squares, Triangles, and Lines,” Galerie im Einstein, Berlin (2011)

“Projekt Norblin,” New Art Wet Music Foundation, Bydgoszcz, Poland (2011)

“Squares and Triangles,” Viridian Artists, Chelsea, NYC (2011)

“Vanishing,” CJ Gallery, San Diego, CA (2010)

“Vanishing Profiles,” Khaki Gallery, Boston, MA (2010)

“The Norblin Project and Other Images,” CJ Gallery and OCIO DESIGN GROUP, San Diego,CA  (2010)

“Wally@Wainwright,” Wainwright Bank, Cambridge, MA (2010)

“Vanishing,” BAAK Gallery, Cambridge, MA (2009)

Norblin Installation, Poznan, Poland, curated by Jan Kubasiewicz and Zuk Piwkowski (2009) 

“The Norblin Project and other Images,” CJ Art Gallery, San Diego, CA (2009)

“IN COLOR & BEYOND,” Khaki Gallery, Boston, MA (2009)

“Fresh Fruit,” Mayyim Hayyim Gallery, Newton, MA (2009)

“Stillness and Motion,” Viridian Artists, Chelsea, NYC (2008)

“LEEKS & CHAINS,” Khaki Gallery, Wellesley, MA (2008

“The Norblin Project and other Images,”  CJ Art Gallery, San Diego, CA (2007)

BAAK Gallery, Cambridge, MA (2007)

Norblin Installation, Galeria PATIO,Lodz, Poland, curated by Zuk Piwkowski, Jan Kubasiewicz, and Aurelia Mandziuk (2007)

Norblin Site Installation, Warsaw, Poland, curated by Jan Kubasiewicz and Zuk Piwkowski (2007)

“The Norblin Project:  Images of Decay,” American Center for Physics, College Park, MD (2007)

“IN COLOR,” Khaki Gallery, Wellesley, MA (2007)

“The Norblin Project:  Images of Decay,” LACDA, Los Angeles, CA (2006)

“The Norblin Project:  Images of Decay,” Viridian Artists, Chelsea, NYC (2006)

Jock Colville Hall, Churchill College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK (2006)

Ann Janss Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2005)

Doran Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA, curated by Jan Kubasiewicz (2004)