Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
9 April - 6 June 2010
Jim Gordaneer teaches us bravery. His innate ability to dwell on his passion conspicuously drives and inspires his continued investigations. Mettlesome, Gordaneer distinctively scrutinizes plenty of genres over the decades of his production and produces unique paintings throughout the barrage of influences. Samples of his paintings on show at the AGGV are glimpses into a lifetime of accomplished dialogue embodied in canvas and board. Serious introspection presents through experimental abstraction jostling figurative reflection and using colour palates pertinent to various decades of approach. Prosaic subjects of comedic banality endear us to this work.
We are privy to Gordaneer’s droll commentary and understated constructs that unpretentiously probe flattening Modernism through his ’60 and ‘70s paintings. Puzzles of painterly parts stabilize delineated surfaces. He recalls the emotional conspiracy of Bacon’s smears and the Synthetic Cubist abandon of Gorky, indicating homage while gathering a personal, diverting vocabulary of style.
Gordaneer grumpily imposes a transfer of colour field doctrine with greyed palates and dismayed regard in the structured figures of Hortense (1985) and Rufus (1986). Waitress ll (1984) and Circus Series: Black Wire (1985) are shifts in his consternation, with cerulean optimism outweighing staidly chairs and playful deranging of pink and orange figures that revive Gordaneer’s recurring circus theme, enlivening his love of figuration. Gordaneer incarcerates this Post- Painterly Abstraction discipline through Beacon Hill Series: Band Stand (1987).
Paintings based on undulating philosophical conversations with Raymond Lorens, domineer Licence, The Harpist and Bass Player and Violinist (1993). Gordaneer’s topological figures twist and stretch, harmonizing coloured stripes or synchronize waves of geometry. Here, there is a revival of pure colour and brash figuration that earnestly discards the presumptive wake of art history’s duress. The drama of this work stages a mind-shift for Gordaneer.
Subsequent paintings rearrange his painted vocabulary, embracing neoexpressionist sensibilities, liberating the figures from outlines in favour of multi-layered constructs. Gordaneer’s results are confident and mischievous. He teases and invigorates the images of Sailor and The Umpire (2005), charging the delivery with belief.
The 2009 paintings have changed perspective. Looking down on an assemblage of body parts and excited elements of abstracted forms, Gordaneer punctuates the work with thriving, sophisticated idea proclamation. Gordaneer dares to confront a life of learning and transports his understanding to synergized observations, with sketches and ultimately master works. Rising above past ideology, he raises his investigative intensity and allows his imagination to ascend.