Douglas Gordon - 2020

New Colour Empires


Born in 1966 in Glasgow (Scotland), Douglas Gordon lives and works in Berlin (Germany), Glasgow (Scotland) and Paris (France). Gordon’s practice encompasses video, film, installation, sculpture, photography and text. Through his work, Gordon investigates the human conditions like memory, passage of time, ambiguity and the disruption of the normal as well as the binary nature and the tendency to split things into opposites: black / white, good / evil.
Gordon’s work has been exhibited globally, in major solo exhibitions including at ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Aarhus, Denmark (2019), Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand (2018), Prisons of the Palazzo Ducale, Venice, Italy (2017), K20, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany (2017), the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (2014), the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2013), the TATE Britain in London (2010), the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2006), the National Gallery of Scotland (2006), the Hayward Gallery in London (2002) as well as the MOCA in Los Angeles (2001) and the Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin (1999). His film works have been invited to the Festival de Cannes, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Venice Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Festival del Film Locarno, New York Film Festival, among many others. Gordon received the 1996 Turner Prize. In 2017, he presented I had nowhere to go at Documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel.

New Colour Empires​

In New Colour Empire, Gordon remakes the Warhol film in colour and shows it together with the original, slightly staggered and superimposed. The double skyscraper allows Gordon to cite not only Warhol’s film, but another of the late artist’s significant methods: Warhol too multiplied his motifs, his Jackie Kennedys and his Marilyns, his electric chairs and his cans of Coca-Cola, and by means of this process of reproduction made his art as omnipresent and unlimitedly available as the mass-media image. By these lights, Gordon himself is only secondarily interested in the renowned skyscraper: his primary concern is the structure’s symbolic significance, and the phenomenon of its reproduction. ​

In this sense New Colour Empire is above all an image of an image, out of which in turn a further image emerges: something ‘new’, something ‘colour’, and – something doubled. Like a revenant, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, destroyed in 2001, seem to rise up before us in outline. In Warhol’s day the Empire State Building was the tallest building in New York, a status it regained in late 2001. Is New Colour Empire therefore meant as a defiant response, as a provocation and a token of resistance? Or is it perhaps the expression of phantom limb pain, as the psychosis born of fever, as a fata morgana? 


Douglas Gordon




Gesso and mixed media on canvas


65 x 55 cm (unframed) - 64 x 55 x 5 cm (framed)




Courtesy of the artist and Dvir Gallery, Brussels

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