Red Green Blue
May 7 – June 20, 2020
May 7, 2020, 6:00–8:00pm
Yossi Milo Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Daniel Gordon. Red Green Blue will open on Thursday, May 7 with a reception for the artist from 6:00-8:00 pm and will be on view through June 20. In a special project at the gallery, Gordon’s photographs and site-specific wallpaper installations will be juxtaposed with glass works, ceramic pieces and furniture by the seminal Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass (1917–2007). The artworks exhibited are predominately in the colors red, green and blue, referring to the RGB color model associated with electronic systems such as computer screens, image scanners and digital cameras, which Gordon uses extensively to create his images.
The classic traditions of still life and portraiture are departure points for Gordon’s ongoing series of photographs. Appropriated pictures sourced from online image searches of vases, fruits, plants, hair, noses, ears and lips are digitally combined with forms Gordon produces himself. Making prints of the images, he cuts out the shapes and assembles them into new, three-dimensional tableaus, which he then photographs. Through this manual cut-and-paste technique, the artist melds together fragmented perspectives and diverse histories into an incongruous whole where flatness and depth freely intermix.
Blurring the divide between analog and digital dimensions, Gordon continues to fuse computer-based and handmade processes with his mural installations. In these immersive images, the artist’s familiar fruits and vases appear again, but are abstracted, signaling a turn towards more explicitly formal concerns. Produced via a kind of digital excavation, these compositions are the remainder of a repeated process of peeling away transparent layers in Photoshop. Gordon’s use of simple forms and solid planes of color in these works lays his process of assemblage bare, highlighting the expressive and improvisational mark-making capacities of the digital. A hybrid between sculpture, collage, assemblage, photography and installation, Gordon’s site-specific murals echo the tradition of Sottsass and the influential collective which he founded in the early 1980’s- the Memphis Group.
Celebrated for breaking down the boundaries between art and design, the Memphis Group famously used bold primary colors, experimented with new materials, invented new playful patterns (e.g. Sottsass’ signature Bacterio print), and expressed an overall disregard of what was considered as “good taste.” The Memphis aesthetic became a defining visual influence in the postmodern era; furniture and products designed by Sottsass, such as the “valentine” typewriter conceived for Olivetti in 1969, presented a youthful challenge and alternative to mid-century modernism and 1970s minimalism. The connection between Sottsass and Gordon’s works was sparked by Christophe Boutin, Gordon’s longtime publisher (Onestar Press, Paris), over the two artists’ unique ability to deconstruct convention with their bold approach to dimension and form. Red Green Blue welcomes a gesture of dialogue between the Italian Radical Design movement and contemporary art in the digital age.
Daniel Gordon’s work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1, New York; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Foam Museum, Amsterdam; NRW Forum Wirtschaft und Kultur, Düsseldorf; Pier 24, San Francisco; Saatchi Gallery, London; and the Daegu Photo Biennale 2012. Gordon earned his MFA from Yale University in 2006 and his BA in 2003 from Bard College. He was born in 1980 in Boston, MA, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Solo exhibitions of objects by Ettore Sottsass have been presented worldwide, including at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museo d’Arte Moderna, Rome; and in Design Radical at the Met Breuer in 2017. His furniture, ceramics, home objects and office machine designs are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Pinakothek der moderne, Munich; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, among numerous other museums.