Of Sight & Sentiment


New works by Todd Gordon and Julyan Davis

October 3rd-31st, 2009
Opening Reception October 3rd 6 to 9 pm

Todd Gordon was born in 1970 in Atlanta, Georgia and was raised in Delaware, Ohio. He attended Northwestern University and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History in 1992. During his undergraduate career, he spent his junior year abroad in Florence, Italy studying Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art. This experience later led to an internship cataloguing Italian Art for the Prints and Drawings Department of the Art Institute of Chicago. Also while at NU, Gordon took his first painting course with the late artist Ed Paschke. Gordon received a Post-Baccalaureate degree in 1996 and an MFA in 1998, both in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. While at the Art Institute, Gordon studied painting with Susanna Coffey and Dan Gustin. Gordon currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

As a perceptual, realist painter, I am committed to the tradition and rigorous practice of working only from observation. The industrial zones in Brooklyn and Queens where I paint possess characteristics which are specifically urban and uniquely American, yet they could just as likely be neighborhoods in any of the Rust Belt towns I remember from my childhood in the Midwest. My personal relationship with each place begins with something I might see that initially interests me on a formal or compositional level - the way a straight road seemingly bends elliptically in space, the expansive curve or color of a bridge, the interplay of graffiti on a corrugated metal fence - and gradually develops or changes significance with each successive visit. Eventually, the focus, subject, or very meaning of the work might shift organically through the openness of the painting process itself. By including as much information as possible, both literally and physically, I attempt to avoid the typical sentimentality common, historically, in most conventional landscape painting. - Todd Gordon

Julyan Davis is an English-born artist who has lived in the South for twenty years. He received his art training at the Byam Shaw School of Art in London. In 1988, having completed his B.A. in painting and printmaking, he traveled to the South on a painting trip that was also fueled by an interest in the history of Demopolis, Alabama and its settling by Bonapartist exiles. Julyan's home is now in Asheville's Montford district. His work is exhibited from New York to Europe and is in many public and private collections. Recent acquisitions include the Gibbes Museum in Charleston and the North Carolina Governor's Mansion and Western Residence.

Tinney Contemporary is pleased to introduce his new Southern landscapes and also his most recent interpretations of the South's rich musical heritage.

Throughout my career I have returned to certain themes. One of these is narrative painting based on folksong and folklore. In art school in London it was sea shanties, here in Western North Carolina it is Appalachian music. Such music strikes a deep chord in me. The narrative thread of this music had an effect: the tone is as often as full of irony as it is romance. Tales of love and loss, of human folly, are told in a manner often startlingly objective and laconic. The realism this fostered in me leaked into my reading of even the most outwardly romantic ballad. I remember, aged about eight, taking a very feminist slant on 'Barbara Allen', one of the very oldest folk songs. I thought, hold on, she's the town beauty, some guy falls for her and dies of grief? More likely pneumonia, snooping around her place in the rain. Why is she so quickly blamed? Who would want her out of the way? -  Julyan Davis