Douglas Gordon: ...and his friends
Albion Barn is delighted to present ‘...and his friends’, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Douglas Gordon.
Gordon utilises a multimedia approach to mark-making; employing printing, painting, burning and transfer; occassionaly the kitchen sink. His ability to pull from all materials goes beyond the physical properties or reference of his ‘tresearch’, as no iconography, cultural moment, or historical artefact is left unexploited. Gordon makes things by destroying things; he is just as unafraid to break down his idols as he is to worship them. Often pulling from existing cultural artefacts - from cinema or advertisements, science, religion, sport or the stars themselves – Gordon leans into the degradation suffered at the hands of time. His work is populated by ‘unforgettable images of the past’ – the barely remembered taste of... something undefined.
Gordon’s paintings are process rigorous, using a ‘primary school technique’ wich also illustrates the explosively intimate relationships between Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and the progeny who are in the ‘dark room’ as it were – with all the connotations that come to mind. The canvases are burned, stained, and set upon with knives, needles, love and the necessity of keeping everything together – giving the fabric a metaphorical surface. Insisting on using the solvent transfer process, Gordon is appropriating the great appropriator, teasing Rauschenbergs Inferno series out of the 20th century and into the ‘ancient present’. The dates may have changed but ‘the song remains the same’... the question is - what can modern-day allegory possibly mean? Despite entering an age dominated by visual culture, imagery has become increasingly fleeting and variably observed. There is no rigidity in the icons of the 21st Century as there were within the paintings of the old masters, rather, they float, ill-defined and porous. The ethereal shades of the collage allow for a transient relation between the viewer and the paintings. The audience must sketch in the ties that spin like an amphetamine web – across the canvas, across the room, and beyond.