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GAIL PETER BORDEN
at Galleri Urbane
by Todd Camplin

How does an Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Southern California School of
Architecture have any free time at all to make art is truly a puzzle to me, but apparently proof can
be found at Galleri Urbane with Gail Peter Borden’s solo show which takes over both main gallery
spaces. I mean, when does this guy sleep, because this is a lot of work. It is not like he is calling this
stuff in to fabricators to produce his work. He is producing all this art himself. He is also publishing
books about architecture. But despite all his side projects as Associate Dean and author, some
pretty good art was made.
This show was like visiting a group show of artists, only all the art came from Borden. True there
were themes that flowed through all the work, but also a nice variety that made you pause
a little more at each piece. I even moved back and forth from the two galleries to compare
the work. Being that I am a pen and ink person, Borden’s ink drawings instantly attracted me.
These drawings look to be made for gel pens. I remember them having a bit of shine to them.
I have seen similar drawings to these before by other artists, but the drawings seem to help
support the rest of the show. I respect an artist that takes drawing seriously and wants to
include it in a show of sculptures and paintings.

His series of paintings are familiar territory if you ever have seen a show of his in the past. Glossy,
simple shapes to indicate space, but the difference come with several paintings using the same
color pallet. Thus more grouping of the paintings occur. Look at the colors and tell me he is not
plugged into the current color trends found in fashion this year.
Some of the sculptures were in part paintings. Like the box structures that had elements
that reminded me of Donald Judd. The raw wood was interrupted by moments of
painted surfaces. I was reminds of the geometric shapes of Borden’s paintings. Simple
colors with hints of dimensionality is his mode of operation,usually. But, Borden’s
sculptures on the ground broke with his normal convention with works that looked
like painted cut trees. I am assuming really came from trees, but I could be wrong.
On the pedestals were abstract forms made from geometric shapes, but reminded
me of creatures crawling.  
Lastly, the wall sculptures must be mentioned. After all, they reflect the paintings and other work,
but instead of dealing with positive space, he move into negative space. Of course, his drawing
do the same, but his sculptures deal with space in more obvious ways, though line and shadow.
I enjoyed walking close to the wall and looking at all the pieces at once, jumbled together
visually. The work is so simple and elegant. Borden isn’t just exploring and playing with minimalist
ideas, but advanced those ideas through his lens of architecture. Galleri Urbane will be showing
Gail Peter Borden’s work through October 8th.