Jake Gilson


OCT. 19 - NOV. 24, 2007
OPENING RECEPTION, Friday, Oct. 19th, 6 - 8 pm


UTGP-2150, 2007, 35 x 44,

Jake Gilson is relentless in his drive to capture insight and give it two- or three-dimensional form. Like a daredevil who must see how close to the edge he can get without going over, he creates images of such enigmatic power that they remain in the mind for a long time, tugging at the edge of understanding. Gilson produces a continuous bombardment of visual descriptions of the ever-changing unknown. His forms are deliberately inexplicable; his textures deepen the mystery by their very richness. His content is literally a matter of life and death.

Gilson uses his materials with great force. He chemically manipulates sheets of steel by flooding the surface with an acid called gun bluing to achieve his subtle modulations of tone and image. He has taken up "drawing" with gunpowder. The resulting images, enriched with color and line, fairly explode on the retina. The mortality rate is high, as one would expect.

The palette used by Jake Gilson is minimal, tending toward dark tonalities, pitch-black, and smudged white with a few reds and blues chosen for their emotional and existential intensity. His mediums are printer's ink, wood block ink, graphite, oil stick, and dry pigment, which he smudges with his fingers to get a complex, velvety depth. Many of his pieces contain tiny, precisely spaced dots that float like an optical illusion above the abyss. These ambiguous figures provide a metaphorical framework to pin down the consciousness - or perhaps simply to indicate the surface of the image, like distant buoys on a midnight sea.

UT-B-777, 2007, 44 x 60

Although Gilson uses such imagery because of its non-referential quality, he also has a concise vocabulary of evocative abstract forms such as bowl shapes that he calls "floats." Another recurring trapezoidal figure is a sarcophagus. Every shape he has ever used is based on something that holds volume. Perhaps that volume is life, or thought, or even wisdom. Whatever it is, the work of art surrounding the vessel form emphasizes the fragile, volatile nature of existence.

Gilson's art faces death as unflinchingly as it addresses life. The artist's attention is riveted on the instant between life and death that provides the decisive moment of insight, the brief and perfect moment when everything coalesces and the mind says, "oh." In that split second of freedom lies total awareness.

Gilson thrusts into the heart of that enigma and consumes all that is not truth, using every active medium and technique at his disposal to strip clean the final paradox. What is left after all else has burned away is the state of limitlessness or ultimate reality that is one of the central precepts of Tibetan Buddhism and Sufism. With a lack of sentimentality appropriate to world's foremost reality-based religion, Gilson presents tough, solid works of art that stay the course of a lifelong quest for enlightenment.

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday through Friday 10am-5:30pm
Saturday 11am-4pm
and by appointment

Please contact Pam or Bill Campbell at or at 817-737-9566 for more information.

Previous Exhibitions

 Jane Helslander - FIELD PRESENCE: SEPT. 8 - OCT. 13, 2007

 Summer Mix - Works from artists represented by the gallery: June 30th - August 4th, 2007

 The Nature Conservancy of Texas - Photographs Celebrate Texas Nature: May 12th - June 23rd, 2007

 Joachim Kersten - DIGITALIS PURPUREA: March 31 - May 5, 2007

 Janus-style New Year's Exhibition - Looking Forward / Looking Back: January 19 - February 28, 2007

 New and Emerging Texas Talent - Show Offs II: December 1, 2006 - January 13, 2007

 Bernd Haussmann - RECOLLECT: October 21 - November 25, 2006

 Dalton Maroney - CROSSINGS: September 9 - October 14, 2006

 Group exhibition - MAN-I-FEST: June 24 - August 5, 2006

 Patrick Kelly - I Want Eye Candy: May 13 - June 11, 2006

 Carol Benson - ATTACHMENTS: April 1 - April 30, 2006

 Cecil Touchon - VISUAL POETRY: February 18 - March 26, 2006

 Randall Reid & STEVE MURPHY - HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE: December 2, 2005 – January 14, 2006,

 RICHARD THOMPSON - Mindful Wading: October 22 – November 26, 2005

 JOHN HOLT SMITH - Work by Tarrant County artists: June 25 – August 6, 2005


 KEVIN TOLMAN - PAINTINGS + DRAWINGS: May 14 – June 18, 2005

 SEVAN MELIKYAN - ‘AFTER’ SERIES II: April 2 – May 2, 2005

 A FOCUSED VISION - Group Exhibition: February 11 – March 26, 2005

 SCOTTIE PARSONS - NEW PAINTINGS: December 3, 2004 – January 8, 2005

 J.T. GRANT - BÊTE NOIRE: September 18 – October 23, 2004

 SURFACE - Group Exhibition: June 19 – September 4, 2004

 JUDY YOUNGBLOOD - NEW WORK: May 1 - June 5, 2004

William Campbell Contemporary Art
4935 Byers Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76107
PHONE: (817) 737-9566, FAX: (817) 737-5466
Gallery One Frames - (817) 737-9571

William Campbell Contemporary Art
10:00 am – 5:00 pm Tuesday – Friday
11:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday
and by appointment
Gallery One Frames
10:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday
11:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday