Robert Bordo Back Road

14 October – 21 November 2009

Private View
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 actuality.

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 here.

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.

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The Beholder's Share

Back Road

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