Michael Ibbison | The Ascent of Man

Eames Fine Art, 2022
Soft cover exhibition catalogue
Michael Ibbison | The Ascent of Man
Publisher: Eames Fine Art
Dimensions: 210 x 210
Pages: 32
£ 10.00

Introductory Essay


Eames Fine Art is delighted to present The Ascent of Man, a collection of new works by Michael Ibbison, which explore the beauty of the circle.


Michael describes the circle as the most significant shape in human history without which, he says, we could never have become the modern primate we are today.


These conceptual works draw on a long history of artists’ fascination with form and colour. The geometric, engineered compositions make reference to humankind’s earliest explorations of mathematical patterns and reveal the rhythm and movement of the natural and mechanised world. From astronomical observations through to the grand domes of the renaissance and of course, the wheel, which led to globalised transportation and inevitably the industrial revolution.


Paying homage to twentieth century Modernism, these works make stylistic reference to the great op-artists of the 1960s such as Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely, whose illusional compositions pre-empted the twenty-first century’s adoption of computer technology in visual communications.


Drawing on Josef Albers’s pioneering research into colour theory, Michael’s compositions provide a hypnotic choreography, as we explore dazzling shifts in tone, hue and temperature. Sometimes, this dance is interrupted with idiosyncratic imagery such as contemporary graffiti, perhaps a nod to pop art but more likely to acknowledge that, since the dawn of humankind, we have been drawing on walls to record the world around us.


If people have since ascended from using cave dwellings as canvases, now favouring computer screens, perhaps one thing remains the same. Whether mathematically precise, or impulsively informal, art has the power to translate the great mysteries of the universe into visual languages that move us on an instinctive level. Michael’s works deliver these grand narratives, distilled and simplified, but none the less beguiling and thought provoking.



Thomas Yeomans, June 2022