Ron Gorchov - 1979


Born in Chicago in 1930, Ron Gorchov is an American artist known for his curved surface artworks. The artist helped spearhead the shaped canvas movement with his bowed wooden frames stretched with linen or canvas, bridging sculpture and abstract painting through his unique artistic creations.
Gorchov created his first shaped canvas work in Mark Rothko’s studio. His oil-on-linen paintings pair one or two biomorphic colored shapes against differently colored backgrounds. The patterns of the paintings resemble living organisms, telling the story of the beginning of a certain formative state. These questions of form and existence materialize into works of art through the use of bold brushstrokes, providing chromatic contrasts.

The artist then hangs the work on a shaped canvas stretcher that is at once concave and convex, similar to shields or saddles. The saddle-like canvas replaces the traditional rectangular base, utilizing the curved shape’s ability to catch the viewers’ attention faster than a rectangle. While the paintings themselves play with symmetry and asymmetry, the warped edges of Gorchov’s canvases create new dimensions and depth, disorienting the perception of the audience.
Gorchov’s distinctive and assertive saddle-like stretchers were created in the late 1960s as an alternative to the pervasive Greenbergian formalism of the time, evidenced in the dominance of minimalist sculpture. He belongs to a generation of artists in New York in the 1960s and 70s that includes Frank Stella, Richard Tuttle, Blinky Palermo, and Ellsworth Kelly, who pushed painting to its extreme. Gorchov is unique in his ability to unite form and content while preserving their tensions.

Following a first solo exhibition at New York’s Tibor de Nagy Gallery in 1960, Gorchov has since exhibited at prominent museums and galleries around the world, including New York: The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, PS1, Queens Museum of Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art; Spain: Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno among other institutions. Gorchov’s recent solo exhibitions include Cheim & Read, New York (’19, ’17, ’12); Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (’14); Maruani Mercier, Brussels (’19, ’18, ’17); Modern Art, London (’19); Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin (’18); Thomas Brambilla, Bergamo (’18, ‘15); and Vito Schnabel Projects, New York (’16, ’13, ’08, ‘05).


Ron Gorchov






127 x 68,5 x 20




Courtesy of Tanguy & Bieke Van Quickenborne collection

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