Lesley Heller Workspace Presents RON GORCHOV, WATERCOLORS and INTO THE VORTEX, Now thru 10/14
Lesley Heller Workspace will present recent watercolors by Ron Gorchov, today, September 8 - October 14, 2013, with an opening reception set for tonight, September 8th from 6 to 8 p.m.
Gorchov's poetic compositions act as a prelude to his larger works and give insight into his creative process. Known for being ambidextrous with a brush, Gorchov's watercolors are a meditation on form and color and often contain a dualistic narrative. His color permeates through the pure white ground of the paper. Texture is ever present in the work due to the thick porous surface of the handmade paper.
Often referencing Greek Mythology, studies for "Medusa" and "Cordax" conjure heroic battles or ancient spectacles. Indeed, "Cordax" refers to a provocative mask dance within Greek comedy. Gorchov's biomorphic forms float and hover within the blue ground interacting with the light washes of the watercolor paint creating a sense of drama. "Andromeda" recalls the Greek myth in which an argument between Poseidon and Aethiopia result in her being chained to a rock to be sacrificed to a sea monster. In this case, Gorchov's grey form looks as though it will engulf the fainter sliver of green shape of Andromeda.
Gorchov's reflections on art and painting have inspired many painters. "I think painting, per se, is an ideal way to criticize the work you already admire because that way you can take the best things in it and try to make your work to be the next consequential step. I mean, to me, that's a given tradition in creative thought: to build on what you're seeing that you love and try to bring it to new and unknown terrain." RG
Ron Gorchov was born in Chicago in 1930 and has been living and working in New York since the 1950s. His first appearance on the scene was in 1960, when he was included in the Whitney Museum's Young America 1960: Thirty American Painters Under Thirty-Six exhibition. Gorchov also had showings at Tibor de Nagy Gallery from late fifties to late sixties and Marilyn Fishbach Gallery in the mid-seventies. In 1972, Gorchov installed two of his "experiments in neocontructivism: multipaneled stacks of heraldic monochromes" at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York. Gorchov's career has included showings at Patricia Hamilton Gallery from 1978-1980, followed by Marlborough Gallery 1981-1984 and Jack Tilton in 1990-1994. He is currently represented by Cheim and Read, New York.Also in the gallery will be Into the Vortex, on view today, September 8 - October 14, 2013, with opening reception tonight, September 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. Featuring: Tom Bogaert, Megan Burns, Graham Day Guerra, John Jacobsmeyer, Jean-Pierre Roy, Joseph Ventura, Oliver Warden, Doug Young, and Aaron Zimmerman.
Gallery 2: The video game industry is a multi-billion dollar enterprise and has surpassed the movie industry without many of us realizing it. Over the past 40 years, video games have altered our visual language by reintroducing a causal system as an essential rationale for pictorial construction. By way of the first person shooter (as in Doom) gaming has made the anxiety producing 'subjective view', looking through the eyes of the avatar, a ubiquitous aspect of our visual culture. Post-Baby Boom artists have grown up participating in the expansion of this cultural phenomenon from its early incarnations in arcades to the sophisticated virtual reality and semiological layering of Call of Duty. Into The Vortex presents 9 artists who have internalized many of gaming's features including visual syntax, gender roles, political messaging and modes of control. With the exception of Tom Bogaert, the artists favor a largely tableau manner as in painting and other still image/objects. Their ties to art history belie and contextualize a heady contemporary discourse on
the nature of self, subjectivity, desire and permanence in our increasingly cybernetic world.
Oliver Warden works against apocalyptic gaming narratives by providing alternates to their objectives. He works with hackers and modders to isolate the essential vision of the sublime embedded within and presents them as camera-less photographic works on paper.
Jean - Pierre Roy plays the gamer's ultimate role, that of world builder. Like a post-apocalyptic Hephaestus, his avatar engineers terraforming by destroying, but always enveloped in a media altered vision of the sublime.
Taking the sublime vision to an even more subjective end, Graham Day Guerrafinds a cybernetic corollary to the sacred artifact. Like Stanley Kubrik's monolith in 2001, Guerra's icons stand immutable gazing back unblinking from a virtual reality oblivion.
Tom Bogaert's 2010 Minecraft Mausoleum, a video game, pits you against president Bashar Al-Assad as he rebuilds his mausoleum which you've destroyed. This sisyphean narrative has proven prescient in light of Syria's ongoing struggle to oust him.
Aaron Zimmerman's paintings, like so many video games, sample from popular media attempting to construct a reality of nostalgia from the detritus of late 20th century sci-fi narratives.
Joseph Ventura's expertise in martial arts and digital 3D modeling fuel an imagery that anthropomorphizes fast moving particles as karate master avatars.
Like an old Hollywood matte painter on George Lucas' Star Wars set, Doug Young spray paints fantastic realities on glass. Both he and John Jacobsmeyer create architectural interiors
with the uncanniness of virtual reality. In Jacobsmeyer's case the interiors derived from videogame
stills appear reconstructed out of plywood like an elaborate clubhouse.
Megan Burns, known for reinventing herself in the sci-fi vixen's narrative of action and seduction has ventured into another role for this exhibition, that of the 'mother brain' in "Master Computer".
These artists bring machinic idioms of representation, dystopic visions, anxious perspectives, and internalized roles from game narratives into dialogue with visual art's ongoing accretion of popular culture.
For more information, visit www.lesleyheller.com. Lesley Heller Workspace is located at 54 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002. Call 212 410 6120. Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 11 - 6; Sunday 12 - 6.