at William Campbell Contemporary through april 26
by Todd Camplin

Many innovations of the 20th century are playing out now with nuanced exploration.
Minimalism is one of the  last of that period which has sent shockwaves down the
spine of contemporary art. In my own taste, I have gravitated toward this calm,
meditative approach to making art. Jake Gilson’s take on this idea of minimalism
is really quite dirty, gritty and Gilson’s solo show at William Campbell Contemporary
makes the gallery feel like a religious temple.
I instantly thought of the Rothko Chapel when seeing these works together. The drawings
have presence that insist a transcendent experience. Though Gilson intends to ascribe
no real meaning to these works, I am convinced that meaning will ultimately be
applied. He might be an “Enigma” as the title of his show declares, but wait till a bit
of scholarship is done on him. Besides, Gilson’s simple shapes make reading the work
a personal journey where meaning becomes customizable and open. Personally, in
many of these drawings, I see Gilson reflecting the shapes of religious icons. MK 75
curves like a cathedral window or maybe a door cracking open. Or maybe I am just
bringing in my own cultural biases which predispose me to make connections that
are not really there. Then again, I return to Rothko’s spirituality and I can’t help but
see a correlation.
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Asharej 714, 2012 oil pastel on paper 80 x 50 in.
minimalist subjects. Gilson takes a more expressionist approach where clean lines and
purely solid colors have been traded in gestural mark making. His drawings are a great

Asharej 515, 2012 oil pastel and pigment on paper
60 x 40 in.