The Fourth Wall

Worrisome Short Stories

“painting”
The Night Susan Kruegar Disappeared

The Fourth Wall Gallery proudly presents Worrisome: Short Stories, an exhibition of new work by Bay Area artist James Gouldthorpe. Operating at the intersection of literature and visual art, Worrisome is an immersive installation of narrative paintings. Inspired by old photos, vintage magazines, and film, Gouldthorpe tells stories through his carefully edited collection of original works on paper. Viewers are invited to make connections within the densely pinned and layered drawings, following narratives that are rich in character and setting.

Worrisome: Short Stories features narratives that invoke a rural noir. With titles like The Night Susan Krueger Disappeared, Busted Knuckles, and Breakfast at Wildwood Trailer Park, these visual tales have a cinematic quality in their comprehensive vision, suspenseful mini-dramas, and tightly executed moments. Gouldthorpe creates immersive graphic novels through a process he describes as “writing a painting.” The exhibition includes a wall of “edits” which feature characters and scenes that were cut from the short stories’ primary narratives.


James Gouldthorpe is a Bay Area artist inspired by film, literature, and graphic novels. His immersive drawing installations have been exhibited widely throughout California and also across the United States and Greece. Locally, his work has been featured at Southern Exposure, ProArts, Montalvo Art Center, the Contemporary Jewish Museum. He has received a number of grants from the Center for Cultural Innovation as well as an Arts and Science Award from Pence Gallery. In 2015, he was awarded a Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation Grant. While working towards an MFA at Mills College, he received the The Jay Defeo Prize, the Trefethen Merit Award, and the Murphy-Cadogen Award. His work has been supported by residencies at Willapa Bay, Montalvo Art Center, and at the San Francisco Dump.

“painting”