Daniel Gordon | Still lifes, portraits and parts

online :

Original press release for the show “Still Lifes, Portraits & Parts” in 2011, Wallspace, New York.

Wallspace is pleased to announce Still Lifes, Portraits and Parts,Daniel Gordon’s first solo exhibition at the gallery, and his first one-person show in New York since 2007.

The exhibition includes photographs made over the last two years that fall into three categories: still lifes, portraits, and “parts,” the latter referring to photographs that exist between landscape and abstraction, made using the constituent parts of other photographs. This mode of re-use is key to understanding Gordon’s process, wherein he culls photographic images from the internet and uses them to build three-dimensional tableaux which he then photographs with an 8 x 10 view camera. After the photograph is taken, the sculptures are dismantled and the body parts and background patterns are reused to make new works. Using a manual cut-and-paste technique, Gordon builds forms that expand upon the rich history of collage and appropriation, while also nodding to the long lineage of the painted portrait and still life (Arcimboldo’s heads and Matisse’s still life arrangements come to mind). Gordon’s melding together of fragmented parts and diverse histories form a dislocated reality, a contemporary portrait, where different perspectives, profiles, and people merge into one, incongruous whole.

Gordon’s interest in terms of subject matter lies in a series of binaries that frequently coexist in his photographs: fecundity and decay, masculine and feminine, wholeness and fracture, artist and muse. These dualities are underscored through the process itself: gobs of glue are left visible, torn edges are left raw, forms fuse and separate before our eyes, teetering between completion and dissolution. Gordon’s process of deconstruction and reassemblage challenges the stability of the fixed image, opening up the possibility for new characters, relationships and meanings to emerge. His constructions, then, become grounds for subconscious projections and surreal fascinations, where the body and the still life evoke (and betray) deep-seated psychological experiences.

Daniel Gordon holds a BA from Bard College and an MFA from Yale School of Art. Recent solo exhibitions include: Blue Room, James Fuentes, New York (2018), Selective Color, M+B, Los Angeles (2017), New Canvas, James Fuentes, New York (2017), Hand, Select & Invert Layer, Bolte Lang, Zürich (2016), Switzerland; Shadows, Patterns, Pears, Foam Museum, Amsterdam, NL (2014); and Screen Selections and Still Lifes, Wallspace, New York, NY (2014). He has participated in several museum group exhibitions, including Cut! Paper Play in Contemporary Photography, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2018),  Secondhand, Pier 24, San Francisco, CA (2016) Greater New York, MoMA P.S. 1, Queens, NY (2010) New Photography Series, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2009).

Gordon’s work has also been highlighted in several international publications including: The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art Review, Frieze, Architectural Digest, New York Magazine, W Magazine, Art in America, Modern Painters, PHOTONEWS, Dazed & Confused, Art in America, and Flash Art. His work resides in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Guggenheim, New York, Pier 24, San Francisco, Foam Museum, Amsterdam, and the VandenBroek Foundation, Lisse, NL.  

He is the co-director of Downstairs Projects in Brooklyn where lives and works.