EXHIBITION ON VIEW: October 9 – November 20, 2021
Saturday, October 9, 4:00-8:00 pm
Civilian Art Projects presents “Jason Gubbiotti: The Travel Section,” opening October 9, on view until November 20 at our new temporary space at 1314 21st Street in the Dupont Circle / West End neighborhoods of Washington, DC.
The body of work comprising The Travel Section was created during the time of the Covid pandemic, when resources became scarce and gatherings in public, or with friends, became a matter of life and death. While staying home meant staying safe, it greatly -- and perhaps forever -- altered social norms and casual occasions. Every action took on a new weight, and small decisions became amplified into larger life concerns. For some, including this artist, creative time was not only a conscious choice; it served as a lifeline to wholeness in this unprecedented time.
The Travel Section continues Jason Gubbiotti’s trajectory of expanding ideas while refining them. Yet the work presented here departs from the norms adhered to by his paintings in previous exhibitions, with each of these new works forming their own worlds while calling to the others. Through experimentation and the mastery of tried and trusted techniques from his “studio arsenal,” Gubbiotti is not pushing for dominance, but reframing: Focusing inward to increase density and content. Each piece is its own unique song from a complex album, experimenting with or creating something new, leading to uncharted territory.
Gubbiotti continues to play with the less noticeable elements of paintings, including the supports, the way work hangs on a wall, and other hidden or ancillary (yet essential) constructions. Incorporating materials from house paint, to wine boxes, to skateboard grip tape, nothing is off limits here. According to the artist, “At the beginning of the pandemic, I was not able to get supplies in France, which was almost completely shut down. I soon became very open to new possibilities for art materials. 'The Mildly High Club' is a good example of this moment. A wooden wine case that was resurfaced with new plywood became a new type of painting support. Initially it was on the floor like a stage monitor but then migrated up my studio wall.”
The title of the exhibition is a nod to Pink Floyd’s song from the album Dark Side of the Moon, which they ultimately titled “On the Run.” Originally named “The Travel Section,” or “The Travel Sequence,” the song began as a simple guitar riff, before expanding into a multilayered composition incorporating new synthesizers and sequencers. The vocals reference packing bags and gathering passports to fly to beautiful locations. It ends with the phrase “Live for today, gone tomorrow, that’s me.”
Residing near Paris, France, yet deeply connected to his family in Pennsylvania and many friends and colleages in Washington, DC, Gubbiotti was cut off from normal travel for the past two years. A citizen of France and born in the United States, his inability to return home during lockdown brings an added poignancy to the creative forces that anchor this work.
Jason Gubbiotti’s most recent exhibitions include this summer’s Autumn Attic at Flowers Gallery in London and a group show at Cecilia James Gallery in in Ghent, Belgium. This year he became a new mentor at Turps Banana, an artist run painting program based in London started by Markus Harvey. Select exhibitions include “Landscape Confection,” curated by Helen Molesworth at The Wexner Center for the Arts, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and The Orange County Museum of Art. He has participated in group exhibitions at Centre d’art Contemporain, Atelier Estienne (France); FRIART / Kunstalle Freiburg (Switzerland); Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken( Germany); American University Museum, Washington, DC; and Curator’s Office, Washington, DC. In 2007, he received a Bourse d'aide a la creation, Direction Règionale des Affaires Culturelles, Metz, France and in 1997 a Vermont Studio Center Artist Grant. His solo exhibitions have been mounted at Civilian Art Projects, Hemphill, PAH Projects and FUSEBOX. He received his BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in 1998.