June Kelly Gallery

Victor Kord Bio

Roses is an exhibition of new abstract paintings by Victor Kord that point up the artist’s serendipity with space and shape correlations, as well as his swagger with titling his paintings. The exhibition will open at the June Kelly Gallery, 166 Mercer Street, on March 4 and remain on view through April 5, 2022.

“In assembling the usual suspects for making abstract art, color, texture and shape,” Kord writes, “shape occupies center stage, with color and texture in supporting roles.  The main source of inspiration for my recent efforts is drawn from the work of sculptors such as Calder, Arp, and David Smith. Matisse’s cutouts, another of my sources are, themselves, works produced by a sculptural process.”  This inventiveness is evident when viewing the acrylic on canvas painting, Hand Over, 2020 as well as imagination summons recall of a quote of Henri Matisse, “What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or disturbing subject matter … a comforting influence, a mental balm – something like a good armchair.”

Kord says, “My paintings of the past two years each consist of a single irregular shape placed on a textured surface, in a figure/ground relationship.  Because paintings are two-dimensional, flush to the wall, the viewer is unable to move around them.  They are seen head on, necessarily more confrontational than works of three-dimensional sculpture.”

“Of a more painterly concern is the tension between the container and the contained.  The canvas support, an object with a perimeter, is as much a boundary as it is a geometric counterpoint to its content; naked, intimate, and experienced from a single station point.”

Is this not unlike the understanding in viewing a rose.  And, why does Kord title his work with the botanical names of roses?  The rose is a metaphor for Kord.  Like his two-dimensional sculptural image, no matter the classification or the point of view we approach it is still sculptural and does not matter the title, it is what it is…what it is…a sculptural form upon a flat ground.

Asked as why botanical names are given as titles when hard-edge abstraction is the focus and subject-matter of the work, Kord responded, saying, his thinking begins with an allusion to Gertrude Stein's, "a rose is a rose is a rose."  The very nature of the thing is ineffable.  And, to take some liberties with the Bard of Avon, a painting, by any other name etc.... But continues Kord, the process of naming a painting is an opportunity for provocation.”  Kord, himself, admits when touring Brooklyn Botanical Garden he is perplexed and amused by names such as Swamp Dog Hobble, 2020, Mutabilis, 2018 and Porto Tonico, 2018.

Titles often pique the imagination, says Kord.  Some are selected from New York Times crossword puzzle clues, which I do every day.  Whether roses or puzzles, I invoke randomness as a means of creating unexpected and more provocative associations between the nominal and the literal.

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.

 

 

Born Satu-Mare, Romania
Lives and works in New York

Education
1960 MFA, Yale University, New Haven, CT
1958 BFA, Yale University, New Haven, CT
1957 Cleveland Institute of Art, OH

Selected Solo Exhibitions
2022 Roses, June Kelly Gallery, New York
2019 Making Ends Meet: New Works, June Kelly Gallery, New York
2016 Anonymous Collaborations, June Kelly Gallery, New York
2014 Cut-Out: New Paintings, June Kelly Gallery, New York, NY
2012 One Liners, 490 Atlantic Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
2011 Victor Kord & Paul Brown: Recent Paintings, Sideshow, Brooklyn, NY
Hiding in Plain Sight, June Kelly Gallery, New York
2008 Algorithm and Blues, essay by Eleanor Heartney June Kelly Gallery, New York
2001 Recent Paintings, Lazzaro Signature Gallery, Stoughton, WI
1996 Recent Paintings, Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, VA
1995 Recent Paintings, Benson Hall Gallery, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
1992 Recent Paintings, (two-person), Kathryn Sermas Gallery, New York
1990 Recent Paintings, (two-person), Kathryn Sermas Gallery, New York
1986 Recent Paintings, Patricia Wayne Gallery, Richmond, VA
1985 Recent Paintings, Armory Gallery, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg,VA
1977 Recent Works on Paper by American Artists: Victor Kord and Joseph Wilfer,
  The Madison Art Center, Madison, Wisconsin, catalogue
1973 Recent Paintings, (two-person), Galerie Simonne Stern, New Orleans, LA
1970 Recent Paintings, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL
Recent Paintings, Galerie Rolf Ricke, Cologne, Germany
1969 Recent Paintings, Irving Galleries, Milwaukee, WI
1968 Recent Paintings, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
1967 Paintings, Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, IL

Selected Group Exhibitions
2017 Celebrating 30 Years, Gallery Artists: Drawings and Photographs, June Kelly Gallery, New
  York
2016 The Onward of Art: American Abstract Artists, 80th Anniversary Exhibition, organized by
  American Abstract Artists and curated by Karen Wilkins, UBS, 18 January – 25 March
2014 Sideshow Nation 11: At the Alamo, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Sensory Impact: American Abstract Artists, Morgan Stanley International Headquarters,
  Purchase, NY
2013 Paintings by Victor Kord & Michael Randall, Durst Organization , Lobby Gallery, New York
2012 Celebrating 25 Years, June Kelly Gallery, New York
American Abstract Artists International, Paris CONCRET, Paris, France
Occupy MIC, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Re-Generation, The Painting Center, New York, traveling, catalogue
2011 American Abstract Artists: 75th Anniversary, OK Harris, New York
Abstraction, The Icebox, Philadelphia, PA
75th Anniversary American Abstract Artists International, Galerie oqbo, raum fur bild wort
  und ton, Berlin, Germany
Splendor of Dynamic Structure: Celebrating 75 Years of the American Abstract Artists, curated by
  Nancy E. Green, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY;
  catalogue
IT’S All GOOD: Apocalypse Now, Sideshow, Brooklyn, NY
American Abstract Artists International, organized by Marthe Keller, curated by Don Voisine,
  Galerie Oqbo and Deutsche Kunstlerbund, Berlin
American Abstract Artists: 75th Anniversary, OK Harris, New York
2010 Small Works Invitational, The Painting Center, New York
2009 Color, William Whipple Gallery, southwest Minnesota State University Art Museum,
  Marshall, MN
2008 American Abstract Artists, The Painting center, New York
2007 Continuum: In Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the American Abstract Artists,
   St. Peter’s College Art Gallery, Jersey City, NJ
Rare & Radiant, Gregg Gallery, National Arts Club, New York
2006 Pivot Points, Western Carolina University Art Museum, Cullowhee, NC
2005 Pivot Points, Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Pivot Points, Humanities Gallery, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Pivot Points, Riverviews Gallery, Lynchburg, VA
2004 Pivot Points, Phillips Academy, Gelb Galleery, Andover, MA,
Pivot Points, Galeria ICPNA Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Pivot Points, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
2003 Pivot Points, Boyden Gallery, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, St. Mary City, MD
2001 Think Small, 1708 East Main Gallery, Richmond, VA
1983 Kord & Kord, 1708 East Main Gallery, Richmond, VA
Tredegar Iron Works Exhibition, Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond, VA; catalogue
1980 Three Person Exhibition, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL
1977 Invitation ’77: Ten Painters, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; catalogue
1976 Big Ten University Faculty Exhibition, Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN
Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL
1974 Students of Albers, Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
1972 Works on Paper, Bard College, Annandale- on-Hudson, NY
selections from the aldrich museum collection and the invitational showing of paintings on
  paper
,   The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT
Drawings, Anna Marie Verna Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland
Kunstmarkt, Basel,  Switzerland
New Talent, André Emmerich Gallery, New York
1971 French and Company, New York
Lyrical Abstraction, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; catalogue
New American Abstract Painting, Madison Art Center, Madison, WI
Lyrical Abstraction, Civic Center Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Lyrical Abstraction, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT; catalogue
Quiet Vibrations, Katz Gallery, New York
1970 New American Abstract Painting, Vassar College Art Gallery, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie,
  NY; catalogue
Lyrical Abstraction, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ
1968 New Images 68, Berenson Gallery, Miami, FL

Reviews, Catalogues and Publications
2012 Patterson, Carrie, essay, “Re-Generation,” The Painting Center; New York; catalogue
2011 Green, Nancy E., introduction and essay, “Splendor of Dynamic Structure: Celebrating 75
  Years of the American Abstract Artists,” Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell
  University, Ithaca, NY; catalogue
Donohoe, Victoria, “75th anniversary exhibit celebrates American Abstract Artists,” The
  Icebox, Crane Building, The Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, November 8
MacAdam, Barbara A., review: new york, ‘American Abstract Artists,’ OK Harris Works of
  Art, ARTnews, October
2006 Horowitz, Frederick A. and Brenda Danilowitz, “Josef Albers: To Open Eyes,” Phaidon
  Press, p.246
2003 “Pivot Points,” Boyden Gallery, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, traveling exhibition;
  catalogue
1996 Ratcliff, Carter, “The Fate of the Gesture: Jackson Pollock & Postwar American Art,” Farrar
  Straus Giroux
, p. 271
1983 “Tredegar Iron Works Exhibition,” essay by Howard Risatti and introduction by Carter
  Ratcliff, Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond, VA
1977 “Invitation ’77: Ten Painters,” introduction by Lisa Lyons, assistant curator and Dean
   Swanson, chief curator, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; catalogue
1972  “selections from the aldrich museum collection and the invitational showing of paintings
   on paper
,” introduction by Larry Aldrich, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art,
   Ridgefield, CT
“New American Abstract Painting,” organized by members of the Art Exhibition Seminar,
   foreword by Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr., Director, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY
1971 “Lyrical Abstraction,” foreword by John I. H. Baur, statement by Larry Aldrich, Whitney
   Museum of American Art, New York
1970 “Lyrical Abstraction,” statement by Larry Aldrich, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary
   Art, Ridgefield, CT; catalogue
1969 Kulterman, Udo, “The New Painting,” Frederick A. Praeger Inc., New York, Translated from
   the German by Gerald Onn, pp. 25, 33, 187
1966 Ratcliff, Carter, “The Fate of a Gesture: Jackson Pollock and Postwar American Art,”
  Farrar Straus Giroux, p. 271
Horowitz, Frederick A. and Danilowitz, Brenda, “Josef Albers: To Open Eyes,”
  Phaidon, London, England

Public Collections
  Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Elvehjem Art Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Madison Art Center, Madison, WI

Fellowship and Awards
1968 Research Grant, University of Wisconsin
1966 Faculty Fellowship, University of Wisconsin
1964 Faculty Fellowship, University of Illinois
1962 Guggenheim Fellowship

Visiting Artist
1997 American Academy in Rome, Italy
1995 Brown University, Department of Art, Providence, RI
1990 Colgate University, Hamilton, NY
1978 Milton College, Milton, WI

Teaching Experience
1993-2005 Professor, Department of Art, Cornell University, NY
1987-1993 Chair and Professor, Department of Art, Cornell University, NY
1981-1987 Chair and Professor, Department of Painting and Printmaking, VA
  Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
1979-1981 Chair and Professor, Department of Art, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
1965-1981 Professor, Department of Art, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
1960-1965 Instructor, Department of Art, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL

Professional Organization
  American Abstract Artists

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