Chic Cityrats
Mark Thompson – G. Gibson, Seattle

English painter Mark Thompson’s got a sweet spot for the most inhospitable places. An artist-in-residence in Bergen, Norway, the most rained-on city in Europe (more on that later), and traveler across northern Europe and Alaska, Thompson currently resides in Stuttgart, Germany. If you live there, beware: where Thompson dwells, the really terrible weather is never far away. While this obsession with climate-challenged landscapes may evoke the work of photographer Christophe Jacrot, featured elsewhere on this website, both men’s landscapes are at odds. Where Jacrot’s pictures shake with all the liveliness of the storm, or capture the muffled serenity that sets on the city after a snowfall, Thompson instead depicts dreary, bleary roads and deserted avenues, sometimes crossed with railroad tracks escaping away towards the horizon. The paintings and drawings look stained and scratched, exquisitely detailed yet heavy with the blurry menace of immense clouds, dark ink stains away in the open sky.
Gail Gibson’s Seattle gallery dazzles once again by decking its walls with the mystery inherent in these deathly landscapes. An exploration that threatens to engulf the soul – as all good explorations should.

Mark Thompson – New Paintings from Europe
November 18 – December 29, 2010, G. Gibson Gallery
Tuesday, 28 December 2010