Simon Gouverneur

American, 1934-1990

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Simon Gouverneur

American, 1934-1990

Biography

Simon Gouverneur’s abstract paintings were the product of a lifelong study of the relationship between language and mysticism. He produced a lexicon of images and symbols taken from the liturgical practices of various religions, particularly Buddhism, Hinduism, Jewish mysticism, and Pre-Columbian religions. He linked these practices to structural linguistics and other intellectually dense, mid-century anthropological concepts. Working in egg tempera, acrylic, and oils, his work contains saturated colors, rigorous geometric patterns, numbers, letters, and readily identifiable symbolic motifs, like spirals. Gouverneur worked very slowly, mixing his own paints, creating a tension between his methodical process and the lofty mystical experiences he tries to render into visual languages.

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Biography

Simon Gouverneur’s abstract paintings were the product of a lifelong study of the relationship between language and mysticism. He produced a lexicon of images and symbols taken from the liturgical practices of various religions, particularly Buddhism, Hinduism, Jewish mysticism, and Pre-Columbian religions. He linked these practices to structural linguistics and other intellectually dense, mid-century anthropological concepts. Working in egg tempera, acrylic, and oils, his work contains saturated colors, rigorous geometric patterns, numbers, letters, and readily identifiable symbolic motifs, like spirals. Gouverneur worked very slowly, mixing his own paints, creating a tension between his methodical process and the lofty mystical experiences he tries to render into visual languages.