Adel Gorgy is remaking art. He’s changing it in novel ways, charting new territories and altering how viewers see.
Gorgy is doing that in two ways. Firstly, he’s redefining his chosen medium of photography by rejecting its inherent limitations and expanding its possibilities. Secondly, Gorgy is literally remaking works of art. The effect can be seen in a dynamic body of work on view in his current one-man show, “Abstracting Art … A Way of Seeing,” at the Kellenberg Gallery in Molloy College through April 29th.
Adel Gorgy, “Deception,” 40 x 60 inches, Pigment Ink Print, from the portfolio “Traces of Pollock, de Kooning and Warhol”
In his recent series, “Abstracting Abstraction” and “Seeing Art Anew” Gorgy isolates and then photographs lines, forms, colors, and brushstrokes from existing works of art by painters like Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning, and Pablo Picasso. He then takes those elements and builds, bit by bit, step by step, line by line, entirely new compositions.
The artist likens his process-intensive work to the way it would be possible to take the words of a poem and use them to create a completely new poem. First deconstructing renowned paintings into what he calls “a visual alphabet of lines, colors and forms” and then reconstructing them into “new visual phrases,” Gorgy is both remaking and reclaiming art at the same time.
“In art,” Gorgy said, “we abstracted the figure, landscapes, nature, and even concepts. I thought, ‘why not art?’ In these works, I push the boundaries of photography, giving the viewer a new way of seeing artworks in an unfamiliar way.”
Adel Gorgy, “Sonnet for Love,” 30 x 40 inches, Pigment Ink Print, from the portfolio “Traces of Pollock, de Kooning and Warhol”
Gorgy’s art has for years been about art. He engages with earlier artists by finding inspiration, common ideas, and moments of virtual discourse. He then creates a work based on them. The abstractions are new and completely Gorgy’s, but his titles, like “Conversation with Pollock” or “My Meeting with Warhol” hint at their surprising background.
The origin of “Abstracting Abstraction” was a 2013 trip to the Pollock-Krasner house in East Hampton. There, Gorgy found, on the floor of the studio, countless drips of paint. Though they didn’t make it to Pollock’s canvas, they were, nevertheless, Pollock’s paint, color, gesture and line. He photographed hundreds of them, changed and arranged them, and created his own abstractions from Pollock’s lost lines.
Adel Gorgy, “Traces of Pollock #3,” 30 x 40 inches, Pigment Ink Print, from the portfolio “Traces of Pollock, de Kooning and Warhol”
As can be seen in the exhibition, in the early works of the series, traces of Pollock’s floor are left visible. But before long, Gorgy carried them to a realm of his own, leaving behind their origins and traveling towards his own conceptual goals. The images are vibrant, complex, lively and filled with energy.
Adel Gorgy, “My Meeting with Warhol,” 40 x 60 inches, Pigment Ink Print, from the portfolio “Traces of Pollock, de Kooning and Warhol”
In “My Meeting with Warhol,” Gorgy inverts the flatness and simplicity of Warhol’s Soup Cans and creates a work with almost infinite depth and complexity. In others, Gorgy weaves together elements from multiple artists. “The visual alphabet,” he said, “is unique in that it does not belong to any artist or artwork, and it can be combined into new visual phrases and abstractions regardless of the source. ‘Separation’ is from multiple artworks by two painters, Pollock and de Kooning,? but what I cannot tell you is what it says. An abstract artwork is an enchanting muse that does not tell her secrets to any one passing by, but tells all if you come close, look, and listen, and more so if you truly admire her.”
Adel Gorgy, “Separation” 40 x 60 inches, Pigment Ink Print, from the portfolio “Traces of Pollock, de Kooning and Warhol”
“Abstracting Art … A Way of Seeing,” is the eighth solo exhibition for Adel Gorgy, whose work has been shown in museums and galleries nationally and internationally for many years. It has been thoughtfully and beautifully curated by Molloy’s Larissa Woo and Emily Antoville. The rotunda-like space of the gallery is flooded with light, allowing exceptional viewing. In addition, Woo and Antoville worked to bring the exhibition to a wider audience through audio and internet based virtual tours.
Adel Gorgy, “Cosmic Dance” 40 x 60 inches, Pigment Ink Print, from the portfolio “Traces of Pollock, de Kooning and Warhol”
By abstracting works of art, Gorgy hopes to enable his audience to see art in new and liberating ways, as he does. “The final reality of an art work rests with you, the viewer, and yet for the artist his vision and his concept are unscathed,” Gorgy said. “They are different journeys whose path may or may not cross, but neither is more or less true than the other.”
The public is invited to the artist’s reception on April 20th from 4 pm. to 7 p.m. The gallery is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Adel Gorgy with his artwork, “Deception” in his solo exhibition, “Abstracting Art … A Way of Seeing,” at the Kellenberg Gallery in Molloy College through April 29th.
Top Photo Caption:
Adel Gorgy, “Song of the Heart” 40 x 60 inches, Pigment Ink Print, from the portfolio “Traces of Pollock, de Kooning and Warhol”