Bordo Back Road
14 October – 21 November 2009
Tuesday 13 October, 6–8pm
Mummery + Schnelle is pleased to announce the first exhibition
in London of the paintings of Robert Bordo.
Bordo makes works that are object lessons in how to look at
a painting. Viewing his paintings becomes a meditation on the
experience of making and looking. A painting has the unique
capacity to present the viewer simultaneously with a depicted
(or mediated) experience and an actual one. Bordo has described
his own process as one of “touch and rumination”,
but he also believes in the importance of the presence and participation
of the viewer in the completion of the experience of his paintings
Ever since the advent of photography, painting has been freed
from the need to represent something other than itself. It is
its own form of representation and this is what Bordo explores.
His paintings float on the edge of abstraction and representation.
A brush-mark might suggest a horizon line, a painted grid could
be a window frame, or screen. There are nods to abstract expressionism
and colour-field painting in the importance of the timing of
the brush stroke and the nuance of areas of colour. The paintings
could be called landscapes, but only if we think beyond the
conventional definition of the word. They depict a kind of edge-land,
both literal and metaphorical, where there is an unsettling
slippage between the external and the internal, illusion and
In an essay on remembrance in the writing of Proust, Walter
Benjamin wrote “…an experienced event is finite
– at any rate confined to one sphere of experience; a
remembered event is infinite because it is only a key to everything
that happened before it and after it”. There is something
in Bordo’s paintings akin to the laws of memory described
Robert Bordo was born in Montreal and has lived in New York
since 1972, exhibiting there regularly since 1987, notably with
solo shows at Brooke Alexander and Alexander and Bonin. He has
also exhibited with Galerie René Blouin, Montreal (2000)
and Rubicon Gallery, Dublin (2007) In 2007 he was awarded a
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. He is a professor
at the Cooper Union School of Art, New York.
Robert Bordo is represented by Alexander and Bonin, New York.
Please scroll down for installation views