STAMFORD, CT -- The Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery is proud to announce James Gortner’s solo exhibition, Ground Breakage, opening September 10th with a party from 6 to 8pm.
Ground Breakage is a dramatic departure from the artist's previous body of work, GAMES, wherein he employed a lush figurative style that was layered on top of reclaimed and recycled canvases, co-mingling with the work of others. In Ground Breakage, the figurative is gone but the reclamation remains. For this collection, the artist has extracted and re-purposed physical parts of the floor of his art studio onto stretched canvas. Gortner reproduces each errant splash of paint and seemingly innocuous bit of debris discarded onto the ground. The inspiration for the series was born from a hapharzardly-served eviction notice that the artist received, due to increased demands from management and rising rents that continue to push emerging artists to the outskirts of the New York metropolitan area.
This collection also continues Gortner's themes of possession, reclamation, and adaptation of circumstance. By using the very ground he worked on as his canvas, he is re-purposing the very property that he is being forced to leave, transferring its physical utility and ownership into the greater purpose of Art, and preserving the years of labor he expended in that space. Through that preservation, the series produces a duality as it is both a meditation on the time spent in the studio as well as a further reflection of the artist’s belief that time is an invented concept. As Gortner explains, “An artist has little idea in his lifetime what the meaning of his ideas will be to a future audience. Others decide. An artwork is always in flux, changing, and completely outside of time.” This is accomplished as he employs a technique of his own invention wherein he has quite literally ripped the floor from his Jersey City studio – housed in a former factory -- and used this raw material as his medium.
Ground Breakage will run from September 10th to October 15th. For more information, please contact Rebecca Hansen, Communications Director, at [email protected] or at 888-861-6791.