Daniel Gordon’s ‘Summer Fruit and Roses’

Daniel Gordon’s new photographic series, made during lockdown in New York, continues the artist’s rigorous and vibrant investigation of the still-life genre. The new works includes quotidian objects that reveal elements of the domestic life of quarantine. Tennis rackets and trainers hint at the routine of exercise, and are paired with other accoutrements of daily life including batteries, cutlery, hammers and spanners. In Summer Fruit and Roses, however, Gordon focusses on the traditional fruit and flowers of the still-life genre.

Here, Gordon uses the art historical tropes of the genre as a departure point for formal exercises that link handmade and digital based processes and materials. Moving between two and three dimensions, Gordon’s practice appropriates images of still-life subjects he finds on the Internet. Printing the images on paper before cutting them out, the artist then assembles a three-dimensional tableau in the studio that can subsequently be photographed.

The work offer a playful re-evaluation of the tableau tradition and continue Gordon’s investigation of the effects of pixilation, patterns and textures, colour, and shape. Here we see the artist wrestles with multiple layers of optical fields and oscillates between flatness and depth.

The vignettes offer a view into the artist’s studio, and into the domain of the domestic, which, in the context of social distancing and quarantining, is rendered particularly potent. The inclusion of particular effects of daily life, often mundane, give a wry nod to the banality and homogeneity of life lived in within the confines of quarantine in 2020. The composition, however, in its joyous revelling in colour and pattern suggests a newfound pleasure in our heightened awareness of our surroundings.

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