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Art Department


Cable Griffith’s Quest Open at G Gibson

Cable Griffith’s Quest Open at G Gibson

: Cable Griffith, "Gallatin Passage"; 2013 acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 inches.

Quest, the new exhibition of Cable Griffith’s work, is now open; artist reception on February 6

Maybe you’re familiar with the following sensation. You’ve just watched an intense movie and now you’re leaving the cinema. You walk through the front doors and, for a disconcerting moment, the whole world seems to be part of the movie you just left. That’s the kind of psychic space Cable Griffith is working from in his new exhibition at G. Gibson Gallery, Quest. For Griffith, the immersive environment he’s exploring in relation to the real world isn’t film but interactive virtual environments. Quest is open now and will run until March 1. There will be a reception for the artist on Thursday, February 6, from 6-8pm.

Cable Griffith, adjunct art faculty and Cornish galleries and exhibitions curator,grew up in Bedford, New York. He vividly remembers playing in the woods near his house as a boy and also in the bit-driven universe of video games, especially The Legend of Zelda, in a meaningful way blurring the distinction between the two worlds. He is a lover of nature, especially the sheer size of the world. “I like feeling I’m a small part of a huge thing,” says Griffith, “I like feeling I’ve been put in my place.” In that way he aligns — in a seriously updated way — with the Romantic aesthetic and its passion for scaling down the human form in the face of nature, the polar opposite of the Classical take on things.

    The trouble with a classicist he looks at a tree
    That’s all he sees, he paints a tree

          — Lou Reed & John Cale, The Trouble With Classicists

As you might suppose, Griffith’s paintings are landscapes, by and large, but there is nothing classical about them. There is no attempt as he renders his trees, for example, to create an illusion. Griffith feels he can get closer to the actual structure of nature by creating his landscapes from language that uses a syntax of reusable elements — like a game designer’s sprites and bitmaps — that are combined to form an environment. He is fascinated with the way the large thing we call “nature,” too, is formed from smaller units. His canvasses reference classical landscape painting, as he says, and make use of some of its rules, but his vision of the world is reimagined using a “system of abstraction.”

The G. Gibson Gallery is at 300 South Washington Street, Seattle, 98104.


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