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Melissa Gordon | Structures for Viewing    7. Jan - 4. Feb 2012


Marianne Boesky Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Melissa Gordon. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York, following a project room show in 2009.

In Structures for Viewing, Gordon takes the printed document as a signifier for a moment in time, using the abstract qualities of printed media to reflect on its material usages.

In the main gallery, Gordon’s large-scale paintings made from using blank silk-screens, wood, squeegees and printed dot matrixes upon their canvases, are constructs derived from actual printed newspapers. Gordon looks to the newspaper, a powerful force in the century of Modernism, as both document and institution, indicative of the phenomenon of how systems of information are framed and perpetuated. The titles of these paintings name the journals and dates of major media moments of the past century that she carefully chooses to ‘present’. Among them are headline stories such as the Pentagon Papers reportage, the Wiki Leaks exposé, and the New York Journal’s instigation of the Spanish-American War. Dispensing with both the text and most imagery, the resulting images are outlines and color blocks, serving as source and surface for Gordon’s paintings. These patterns are left to reveal an understanding of how everyday information is dictated and received, while at the same time they provide a neat overlay of Gordon’s interest in the grid and its core function in abstract painting.

Mining printed books on painting as another point of departure, in the front gallery Gordon shows silk-screened canvases deriving their imagery from blown-up photographs of Mondrian paintings, which reveal significant cracks in their white lead paint, as reproduced meticulously in a Taschen publication from 2005. In these works, the black and white printed reproductions have been re-created, enlarged and re-framed in their cropping; the rosette of the printing matrix becoming apparent. The original color, removed from the painting in the printed book version, is reintroduced by Gordon here by way of three-dimensional objects that stand in front of the silk-screen paintings. Taking their titles from the original Mondrian paintings such as ‘Tableau 3 with Orange-Red, Yellow, Black, Blue and Grey’ in Time and Space, these works point to the condition of time in a reproduction, meanwhile bringing the flatness of painterly illusion, the essentialist drive of De Stijl and modern abstraction, into space.

One small painting stands at the point of entry and exit, based upon a photograph of the floor that Rietveld designed for the UNESCO press layout room at its headquarters in Paris—a quiet reminder of the cutting, collage, and editing involved in both the news and the modernist project of De Stijl’s abstraction.

Gordon’s previous bodies of work have focused on the accumulative nature of cause and effect in press imagery, the transformation of fastidious Norman Rockwell illustrations by blowing up the rosette matrix of their printed form, the overlap between WPA imagery and Abstract Expressionism, and the physical and illusionary relationship of perspective to both painting and media history. Gordon studied at De Ateliers in Amsterdam, and lives and works in London. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Marres Center for Contemporary Culture, Maastricht, and the Aldrich Museum. She will be included in an exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin in March of 2012.

Marianne Boesky Gallery is located at 509 West 24th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues. Our hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm. For further information or images, please contact Annie Rana at 212.680.9889 or annie@marianneboeskygallery.com.

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