The Shade Between is Ron Gorchov's third solo exhibition at MARUANI MERCIER gallery. The exhibition presents a selection of new works by the artist.
Bridging sculpture and abstract painting, Gorchov is deeply engaged in the exploration of liberating ideas of form, he has been working with shaped canvases since the late 1960’s and has developed a singular artistic vocabulary over his decades of practice, that challenged the methodologies of traditional painting.
His oil on linen paintings pair one or two biomorphic colored shapes against differently colored backgrounds, in addition to hanging his work on a shaped canvas stretcher that is at once concave and convex, a shape critics have compared to shields or saddles. Those custom-fabricated, saddle-like stretchers avoid the clear edges of an ordinary canvas – contrary to the rigid format of the rectangle that dominated the medium of painting at that time – and offer a novel investigation of space, scale and surface.
Simple variations of coloured, organic shapes build the centre of Gorchov’s works. Often two seemingly opposing forms build a contrast to the background, creating an elementary composition that shifts between impressions of balance and disparity: a constant dialogue between the single elements that is expanded and intensified by the curved and warped surface of the objects. Opening the picture plane to the space in front of it and exposing their stretchers otherwise closely attached to the wall, the artist’s works allow an unusual experience of depth. Diverging from the impression of a flat screen, they fuse ideas of painting and sculpture.
Gorchov belongs to a generation of painters who removed their canvases from the rectangular stretcher, seeking a new pictorial field, yet he is unique in his ability to unite form and content while preserving their tensions. Critic Robert C. Morgan wrote of Gorchov that he does not paint to make a point: “Rather he simply states that the convex saddle is closer to how we perceive than the hardened rectangle. This is the given in his work, and he moves ahead from there, often with extraordinarily lyrical results.”
Born 1930 in Chicago, US, he lives and works in New York. His works formed part of solo and group exhibitions at important institutions and galleries such as MoMA PS1, New York; Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis; Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse; The Bruce High Quality Foundation, New York; Vito Schnabel Gallery, St. Moritz and New York; Cheim & Read, New York, among others. Gorchov’s paintings are included in renowned collections, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Detroit Institutes of Art, Michigan; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Everson Museum of Art, New York.