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Indepth Arts News:

"April Gornik: Paintings and Drawings"
2004-08-29 until 2005-02-13
Neuberger Museum of Art
Purchase, NY, USA

April Gornik: Paintings and Drawings features the work of an artist who is well known for her landscape images that bring the Western Romantic tradition forward through virtuoso painting and drawing. Gornik’s light-bathed landscapes are based on memory of places seen as well as imagined. The exhibition will be on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art from August 29, 2004 through February 13, 2005. In 2005, it will travel to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. The exhibition is curated by Dede Young, Neuberger Museum of Art Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

April Gornik: Paintings and Drawings is a mid-career survey of the artist’s work from 1980 to the present and includes nearly fifty monumental paintings, small-scale paintings and drawings that comprise a startling range of landscape imagery. Simultaneously, Hudson Hills Press will publish a full color monograph that includes a major essay entitled “Fictional Freedom: April Gornik’s Landscapes” by Dr. Donald Kuspit, an interview with the artist by exhibition curator Dede Young, and a chronology of Gornik’s career.

“Since the mid-twentieth century art has expanded in uncountable ways, and painting and drawing have been rejected for nearly two decades as lacking in potential to fully express our contemporary world,” says Ms. Young. “April Gornik has chosen to maintain a steady process of exploring the vocabulary of painting and drawing as consistently viable and compelling. Rather than bow to the recent trend of artists to seek and make images from urban experiences in a world of mass production, Gornik stays a passionate course, utilizing landscape images and light to reference shared human experience,” Young notes.

In Kuspit’s essay, the complexity and richness of Gornik’s painting are described as being completely original, paradoxical and mystical, with deceptive abundance and surreal undertones, which are as present as natural light. He refers to Gornik as a “romantic conceptualist” who has brought contemporary relevance to the landscape genre, pushing it beyond the Romantic view. Dede Young’s interview reveals the artist’s personal associations in her work and explores Gornik’s enduring interest in people-less landscapes. She discusses the artist’s various sources, both imagined and based in the material world, and the use of photography and the computer in her process of working.

With light as a primary subject, and past, present and future worlds imagined and portrayed with imposing clarity, Gornik puts forth images that are fresh, timeless and lasting. Her compelling relevance lies in the physicality and hand-made-ness of her work. She has said of painting, “…it holds within itself the history, time, and tale of its formation, the person looking at it is informed, enriched, and subliminally able to experience all of the above. The object speaks to us in its physicality, and our response is an affirmation of our own physicality, a connection and an interface of time and space, intent and emotion.”

The Neuberger Museum of Art, located on the Westchester County campus of Purchase College, State University of New York, engages and inspires diverse audiences by actively fostering the study, appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of modern art, African art, and the art of our time.

April Gornik
Pulling Moon
76 x 80 in.

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