June Kelly Gallery


Victor Kord
Anonymous Collaborations
New Paintings

Victor Kord - Near,2015, acrylic on canvas,48 x 48 inches 08

 Near, 2015
Acrylic on canvas
48 x 48 inches

June Kelly Gallery presents Victor Kord: Anonymous Collaborations, on view at 166 Mercer Street, from December 2, 2016 through January 17, 2017.  This body of abstract paintings delves into the ambiguous intrigue of space and shape correlations.

While nothing is predictable about Kord’s work, he does follow parallel paths when introducing a new vocabulary of marks.  In earlier work, Kord made no conscious effort to find shapes to fit into his finite compositions.  Later, the shapes evolve from the conscious process of folding, cutting and unfolding. In this new body of work, Kord says, “the emphasis is on discovery rather than intuitive improvisation.  To an extent I let the painting paint itself and continue to be more an explorer than inventor.”

“Shape is the actor, ground is the stage, repertory theater the model; same cast, different plays. Think Orson Welles, Mercury Theater!” Kord says, “Grounds achieved through experimental and occasionally unpredictable processes provide a counterpoint as well as a nesting space for appropriated shapes. Inspiration comes by way of music and the compression of poetry.”

Kord continues to restrict the number of colors in a given palette so that they do not cancel one another, but rather play key supporting roles. In the painting titled Near, space works optically as abstract, magical, extravagant, mysterious, powerful and is sonorously enigmatic with depth and volume while an opposing shape is static.

In the painting Tense forms coalesce, disappear, and reappear only to lose themselves to the ground once more.  The space allows forms to float optically forwards, backwards and against each other.  The collaborative is seen in terms of opposing forces: the vertical against the horizontal; light against dark; hot colors against cold.

“I came to Yale expressly to study painting with Josef Albers.  I arrived as a figurative painter, but over time, under his tutelage, became persuaded that abstraction was a more challenging and progressive direction.  In his color course I came to understand the energy produced by color relationships and to be selective in the determination of palettes.  Overall in his teaching he emphasized the primacy of intention though he encouraged us to recognize serendipity and use it when available.”

Albers was an unbiased and generous critic though he tended to encourage a reductive approach.  I'm not primarily a colorist and certainly not a minimalist, but in my recent works I incorporate elements of all that I learned from him.  Most influential of all is his admonition, “To follow me, be yourself.”

Kord retired as a professor of painting at Cornell University after a teaching career that spanned more than 40 years.  He has shown his paintings extensively throughout the country and internationally since 1967 at such venues as the Kathryn Sermas Gallery, New York; André Emmerich Gallery, New York; Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, and The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT. He has received many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship.  His work is represented in the collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Madison Art Center of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, among others.


Click on thumbnail for larger image.

  Tense - 2015 
Pennyroyal - 2015 Nina - 2015 Besides - 2015

 Victor Kord Bio

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