A pioneer in the development of the shaped canvas, Gorchov has spent almost 40 years developing and refining his signature approach to abstract painting. He has experimented with various permutations of the curved picture surface, creating an iconic shape that is both elemental and archetypical in its object quality.
Variously described as ‘shield’ or ‘saddle’ shaped, Gorchov’s canvases are unmistakable in the manner that they subvert accepted conventions about the picture plane. Having rid themselves of the limitations of the modernist grid, they are never simply square or rectangular due to the almost imperceptible rounding of the corners, and are simultaneously concave and convex. These canvases vary considerably in size, and are oriented in both vertical horizontal formats.
According to Robert Storr, writing in the catalogue essay, the purpose of this particular shape is to “subject the act of looking to the subtle stresses and pressures of not knowing quite where to focus…What results is the weird capacious volume his paintings encompass and the invitation that warping extends to the artist and the viewer to lose their optical bearings while remaining rooted in the objectivity of the sculptural entity in front of them.”
However, this precisely engineered formal quality is allied to the artist’s ability to sumptuously deploy color. The paintings most commonly consist of a ground color, painted with more or less density and showing differing degrees of gesture, and two or more biomorphic shapes that hover within rather than on top of this field. Gorchov’s palette is rich and dazzling, and more often than not daring and dissonant as well.
Gorchov’s work is in many major private and institutional collections and was the subject of a widely acclaimed survey at P.S.1 Contemporary three years ago. A fully illustrated linen-bound catalogue will accompany the exhibition.