Daniel Gordon

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Daniel Gordon (born 1980) uses art historical traditions, such as the still life and portraiture, as departure points for his contemporary explorations of photographic representation and digital imagery. Through a process of found imagery, assemblage and tableaux, Gordon examines the symbiosis of imagery and the physical world in the digital age.

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Early Life

Daniel Gordon was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1980. He received a BA from Bard College, New York in 2003 before graduating with an MFA from Yale University in 2006.

Career

Gordon’s practice brings together collage, installation, sculpture, painting and photography. His process begins with found images that Gordon downloads from the internet of vases, facial features, fruits, plants and other everyday items. Using this appropriated imagery, Gordon assembles his own tableaux; in his earliest series Gordon created seamless compositions seeking to create realistic scenes.

His series Still Lifes, Portraits & Parts (2010) marks a shift in this approach in which the process of making is laid bare. Having assembled the tableaux, Gordon uses a large format 8 x 10-inch camera to photograph the scene. Intersecting analogue and digital imaging technologies, Gordon creates a hybridized terrain of photographic practice. The resulting imagery recalls the still lifes of Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse and the work of German Dadaists in the early twentieth century.

Gordon’s work oscillates between flatness and depth in its incorporation of multiple dimensions, taking 2D images and making them into 3D objects before returning to a flat final image. This playful approach points to an examination of the possibilities of the photographic medium, and an exploration of photographic representation itself. Gordon transforms his downloaded imagery from immaterial data to material objects and back again. In doing so, his work points to the proliferation of imagery and photographic representation and suggests that these have become symbiotic with, rather than symbolic of, the physical world.

In his more recent series, Gordon creates site specific installations to accompany his photographic works. These wallpaper installations create an immersive environment, which surround the viewer with the artist’s imagery, as an extension to his exploration of the themes of photographic representation and dimensions. The installations represent greater formalist experimentation in Gordon’s work in which he abstracts his imagery to focus on form and colour.

Exhibitions and Awards

Gordon’s work has been published in numerous monographs and he has been exhibited internationally in major art institutions, such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. His work is held in the permanent collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Pier 24, San Francisco and Foam Museum, Amsterdam among others. Gordon lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

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