Hiding in Plain Sight, an exhibition of new paintings by Victor Kord that reflect the artist's roving eye that finds dramatic shapes, harmonious colors and provocative patterns that most people fail to see, will open at the June Kelly Gallery on January 21. The exhibition will remain on view through February 22.
"I explore and compose 'found' shapes," says Kord. "I make no conscious effort to find them, since doing so would compromise the strategy of leap-frogging the boundaries of imagination and habit. Chance happens. I operate in a relaxed mode and experience moments of recognition as they come, as unexpected blips in the course of routine activities in an ordinary day. It's really all out there hiding in plain sight."
Shapes and patterns caused by pollution floating atop the Avon River caught Kord's attention while on a recent trip to England. "Subsequently they came to form the content of these most recent paintings. An accompanying set of shapes was derived from plastic rings that hold soft-drink cans together; they serve as a border and a counterpoint to the Avon shapes."
Kord says that, although these paintings take their cue from what he sees in the environment, his intention is to change the context and transform the content, not represent it. For him, he adds, "Color plays a supporting role to shape by providing wiggle room for improvisation and intuitive decision-making."
Kord says his study with Joseph Albers in the late 50s has had a significant impact in how he approaches the use of color.
"I sense and feel color rather than think it," he says. "I consciously attempt to restrict the number of colors in a given palette so that they do not cancel one another out, but rather create climate and personality."
In summary, Kord says "The uniqueness of painting lies in its power to make sensation hold still. Painting has its own voice and needn't borrow language or content from other disciplines. When painting operates at its most extreme level of 'otherness,' it is music for the eyes. I'm just trying to write a good tune."
Kord, who lives and works in New York City, holds a BFA degree and an MFA degree from Yale University.
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; Andr- 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.