21 APRIL – 21 MAY 2016
WEDNESDAY, 20 APRIL, 6-8 PM
Press preview in presence of the artist: Wednesday, 20 April, 5 PM
Annka Kultys Gallery is pleased to present the gallery’s first exhibition with Alexandra Gorczynski. Never Forever features recent digital paintings by the Philadelphia-based artist, recognized as one of the most influential young artists to emerge from the post-Internet art moment.
Best known for her pieces using internet technologies, Gorczynski’s recent works comprise large prints of digital paintings in which she uses digital technologies to combine traditional painterly aspects, such as the brush stroke, with photography and collage. Initially trained as a painter, Gorczynski gravitated to working with new media while still at art school.
As the artist notes herself: ‘Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the work is its play upon the continuum that exists between traditional painting and new media. While the use of new media is not insignificant in itself, only the most hubristic of artists is not cognisant of what has gone before. As T. S. Eliot said, “What happens when a new work of art is created, is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art that preceded it.”’ It is not surprising then to recognise within Gorczynski’s compositions an intense engagement with the larger traditions of art history, whether it be through an updating of the classic theme of the female nude or investigating the aesthetic implications of Greco-Roman figuration, American abstract expressionism or the fauvism of Henri Matisse.
For Gorczynski the role of the computer is akin to that of the brush in traditional painting. As noted, she first explored digital media during her final year as a painting student at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI, and it remains central to her practice today. Part of a generation of artists who grew up before the social media phenomenon, Gorczynski is fascinated by the possibilities of digital art. Not only does it afford easy access for an art-hungry public who can enjoy the artist’s works from their own living spaces, artistically it offers an almost infinite range of representational and graphic possibilities. Employing found Google images, her own pictures and the paintings of masters from art’s classical and modernist canon, Gorczynski has created eight unique, yet related, digital paintings and an accompanying video piece for Never Forever. Formally, the pieces recall classical sculpture and modernist and Pop Art painting, referencing works by the likes of Matisse, Wassily Kandinsky, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol.
Among the works on view are Chameleons (2016), Crystal with Pastels (2016), Welcome to My Box (2016) and Vanity Theater (2016), each a large scale print of a digital painting, mounted on MDF. Thematically, the works portray one or more female figures (including the artist’s close friend Crystal) against vivid backdrops composed of abstract and figurative forms, often appropriating excerpts of works by modernist masters. This first group of digital paintings are notable for their dynamic patterning, flattened forms and use of rich, vibrant colour; all motifs of Gorczynski’s digital work throughout her career.
Also included in the exhibition are three smaller mixed-media works by Gorczynski, Self Portrait (2016), Notes (2016) and The Illuminated Body (2016). This exciting body of work fuses traditional brush techniques with contemporary internet technologies. Using the marble forms of female statues and busts from classical sculpture, Gorczynski completes the works with scribbles both in digital form and acrylic paint; marks reminiscent of the graffiti-like jottings of Twombly, for example.
Finally, Love Story Unlike any Other (2016), a four-minute video of multiple, misaligned layers of the trailer for the 1961 film ‘Splendor in the Grass,’ further recalls Gorczynski’s signature bridging of the pre- and post- digital ages.
Alexandra Gorczynski earned her BFA in 2006 from the Rhode Island School of Design and is currently based in Philadelphia, PA.
Gorczynski’s work featured in 2013’s Paddles On! at Phillip’s auction house, the world’s first auction dedicated exclusively to digital art. Her work was exhibited alongside Annka Kultys Gallery artist Molly Soda, and ranked among the top sellers. That same year, Gorczynski also presented her first solo exhibition at Transfer Gallery in Brooklyn, New York.
In 2014, Zhulong Gallery in Dallas, TX hosted Quantum Objects, Gorczynski’s second solo show, exhibiting two-dimensional, sculptural and video works that explored the overlap of virtual and actual states of being. Gorczynski was commissioned in 2015 to create a bespoke work for the traveling exhibition Musee Passager, founded by the Atelier de Frederic Laffy, Paris.
Gorczynski has also participated in numerous group exhibitions worldwide, including The Salon is a Living Room, Fanny Berta, Vienna, Austria; E-Vapor-8, Site Gallery, Sheffield, UK; Raster Raster, Aran Cravey Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; New Romantics, Eyebeam, New York, NY; Blue Lagoon, One Thoresby Street, Nottingham, UK; Dry Wipe, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK; Shine a Light, Portland Museum of Art, Portland, OR; Youth Culture, The Future Gallery, Berlin, Germany; and The Shift, 319 Scholes, Brooklyn, NY.
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Installation view of Alexandra Gorczynski ‘Never Forever‘ at Annka Kultys Gallery, London 2017. Photo: Annka Kultys Gallery (Damian Griffiths)
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