PRINT February 2019


David Gilbert, Little Room, 2018, mixed media, drywall, studs, window, door, paint. Installation view, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, New York.

IF INGRES HAD PAINTED STILL LIFES while staying in Blanche DuBois’s ratty Chateau Marmont bungalow, they might have resembled David Gilbert’s delicately trompe l’oeil photographs of do-it-yourself, Judy-inflected domestic tableaux. Judy Garland almost appeared in “House & Garden,” Gilbert’s fourth solo show at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery in New York, but he wisely kept her offstage. She would have dominated. We needed, instead, to see what Judy left behind.


Or skip Judy altogether. As Ezra Pound said, at the beginning of The Cantos: “Lie quiet Divus.” Lie quiet, Judy.


Gilbert assembles fantasias in his studio, and then he photographs them. The space of and then—the annex, the ergo—is where art sneaks in. I hesitate to typecast Gilbert’s work by insisting on its LA-specificity. But who could mistake that light, a brightness fated to signify the star-factory’s wreckage—the

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