Adrian Gor: Performers in New Old Historical Landscapes
Performers in New Old Historical Landscapes, Adrian Gor
August 7 – September 18, 2021
ARTSPLACE Gallery, 396 St. George St., Annapolis Royal, NS
Adrian Gor is an artist from Ottawa who will be showing his work at ARTSPLACE from August 7 – September 18, 2021. “Performers In New Old Historical Landscapes” will feature linocut prints and mixed media paintings that co-opt, critique, and upend idealized representations of art historical figures and cultural authority from ancient to present times in relation to Western and consumerist visual culture. Gor feels that we are exposed to too many images in our lives today; thus, he concentrates on slow-paced media such as egg-tempera and gilding in his work that is inspired by medieval icons.
Adrian Gor is a Part-time faculty member at Concordia University in Montreal and a Studio and Art History Instructor at Ottawa School of Art in Ottawa. His teaching and artistic research encompass theoretical and practical aspects of Byzantine Art in relation to the history of Western visual culture and contemporary art.
Artist Exhibition statement:
“PERFORMERS IN NEW OLD HISTORICAL LANDSCAPES”
Adrian Gor’s egg-tempera paintings and relief prints recall historical figures of cultural, political, and religious influences from ancient to present times through artistic narratives that include overt subversive symbols of consumerist and patriarchal cultures. However overt the symbols may be, the aesthetic of his compositions straddle between the boundaries of abstraction and figuration and the levels of depth in pictorial space to render the meaning of the subject matter ambiguous and complex.
His work combines techniques and ideas from Byzantine art and Pop art, to create a balanced relationship between Colour and Form/symbols—which, according to his artistic vision and academic research, helps to better, more overtly address the socio-political aspect of visual art in disseminating ideology. From Byzantine art, he employs the iconographic technique of egg tempera and the frieze composition, and from Pop Art, the use of repetition and printed imagery from consumer goods, mass media, and popular, digital culture.
Gor constructs his pictorial spaces through an interplay of popular and kitschy elements to exhibit a critical and ironic interpretation of various historical figures as performers of ideological expression. Ongoing elements in his work are the shopping cart, the use of gold and mechanical reproduction, the irony against cultural authority, and the Byzantine iconic colour application from black and pure hues towards white—a painting method known as the “light spectrum” for true and revelatory seeing. All these inform the overall look of his narratives, which comment on our identity as individuals and contemporary society as a whole.