June Kelly Gallery

Victor Kord
Making Ends Meet

Kord - Mutabilis, 2018,acrylic on canvas,48 x 48 inches

Mutabilis, 2018
Acrylic on canvas
48 x 48 inches

June Kelly Gallery is pleased to present Victor Kord: Making Ends Meet - abstract paintings reflecting Kord’s bravado and serendipity with the plotting of space and shape correlations.  The exhibition will open on January 18, at 166 Mercer Street and remain on view through March 5.

Kord’s penchant with painting sundry novel shapes in randomly assigned arrangement cross the canvas continues to be unpredictable.  In earlier work, Kord, approached his work more as an explorer than inventor, for discovery and chance were crucial in his process of finding and appropriating shapes to fit into his compositional preference--the square.

Later, Kord’s shapes evolved from his conscious process of folding, cutting and unfolding.  Using the technique of cutouts inspired by the paintings of Matisse, Kord moved closer to invention, creating resistance to arbitrariness yet in tandem facilitating the serendipity.

Kord, who, when queried about the exhibition title for this current body of work, said, rather tongue-in-cheek, The Usual Suspects, or to put it another way, Making Ends Meet, unpredictably, and surprisingly, creates not merely shapes but entire figuration arrangements.  Independent compositions that when aligned, prompt thoughts perhaps of dubious relationship.  Therein lays Kord’s bravado and serendipity, the coincidence that emphasizes both discovery and intuitive improvisation.

In the juxtaposition of two capriciously independent canvases, Mutabilis, 2018, forms float optically in each canvas as if in complete abandon, and then seek the other in visual exchange and ultimate attachment.  Critical is the collaborative, seen as fusing of opposing forces: the vertical against the horizontal spread; light against dark; brilliant color against cool, finite form against infinite space.

Kord who is neither primarily a colorist nor minimalist creates forms that may appear simplified by their reduction, not so.  Color and form are central concerns of shape-making and placement for Kord.  Sensing color rather than thinking it, Kord restricts color in a given palette so as to not cancel one another out, but rather create “climate and personality.”

Kord writes, “My leading actor is shape, idiosyncratic, provocative, occasionally comedic and not entirely of my invention.  I have a collaborator who shall remain anonymous, upon whom I depend for my collection of “found” shapes.  I’m surprised by the cut-outs of Henri Matisse and the chance operations of John Cage.”

Kord, in the beginning, was a figurative painter, but over time, at Yale University, under the tutelage of abstract painter Josef Albers (1888-1976), abstraction was found more challenging and progressive.  I call myself a “formalist without borders.”  The uniqueness of painting lays in its power to make sensation hold still.  Painting has its own voice and needn’t borrow language or content from other disciplines.

Kord retired as a professor of painting at Cornell University after a teaching career that spanned more than 40 years.  He has shown his paintings extensively throughout the country and internationally since 1967 at such venues as the Kathryn Sermas Gallery, New York; André Emmerich Gallery, New York; Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, and The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT.  He has received many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship.  His work is represented in the collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Madison Art Center of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, among others.


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Mother's Day - 2018 Fimbriata - 2018 Do-Si-Do - 2018
Kronprincessin - 2018 Wiggle Room - 2018 Strike It Rich - 2018

   Victor Kord Bio

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