New Again – Adel Gorgy's Art About Art
By Nabil Naoum
Adel Gorgy, Traces of Pollock #3 from Traces of Pollock, de Kooning and Warhol
Renewal, reinvention and reinterpretation are central themes in the abstract works of photographer Adel Gorgy. This is especially true in his recent series, “Abstracting Abstraction,” and before it “Again … Seeing Art Anew.”
In the first, he is exploring and extrapolating traces of Pollock, de Kooning and Warhol, finding his own way of renewing the work of three masters. Through his alchemical process, Gorgy breathes new life in what is old, by rearranging, cutting, measuring, repeating, twisting, superimposing, and straightening. Under the transforming eye and hands of the artist, "Abstracting Abstraction" and "Traces of Pollock, de Kooning and Warhol" inject new life into renowned works while still keeping some traces of the essence of the old. By abstracting abstraction, revising and re-envisioning Gorgy gives the viewer new ways to see.
In "Forget you Not," from the collection of "Seeing Art Anew," for example, the lyrical figurative painting of Raoul Dufy (The 14th of July at Havre) is completely transformed to an abstract geographic landscape. We see the melting colors and the movement of the brush on the canvas exposed, but they are morphed and remade. Gorgy takes core elements and changes them to his vision. This is what Gorgy's work is about.
Gestures, numbers and scratches in white on a dark background in "Sum of Any," Gorgy's response to Twombly, trace labyrinths of fine lines in a mystical way. Gorgy recomposes the trails of traveling meteors, condensing them without ignoring the space in which these atoms cross countless secret dimensions. The equation is there but the answer may be concealed by one artist to be rediscovered and rewritten by the later artist.
Art about art, which is the body of Gorgy's work, recalls the groundbreaking strides of Marcel Duchamp who, early last century, put figurative on figurative work to new effect. Adel Gorgy in his new series has taken it to abstraction of abstraction.
Nabil Naoum is an art critic and novelist who lives and works in Paris.
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