About the Show


Force Field is James Gortner’s third show at the gallery and serves to further anthologize the body of work that the artist has presented to our viewers over the past 3 years. In Force Field, the focus is on the transformation of energy as the critical juncture in the creative cycle. That energy comes from medium, from method, as well as from the artist’s use of paintings by other artists -- given or found.

As well as having awesome Sci-Fi connotations, a "force field" is what is known in physics as a field indicating the force exerted by one object onto another. In this new work, Gortner selects colors and pours reclaimed paint onto an existing painting. He then cuts up one or more artists’ abandoned or reclaimed paintings into shards. Each deconstructed piece is then pressed face down in the wet paint. Later, when the paint is dry, Gortner breaks apart the bonded paint surfaces- exposing various layers. This, in effect, reveals the physics of the painting’s transformation. Gortner then paints further into the transformation, marking the work as he sees fit.

As a whole, the work is a gesture that could be seen as both destructive and transformative. A power struggle between the strength of multiple paintings to yield one. The work is also an esoteric battling and jiving between sections of the artist's own self and identity as it pertains to his life as well as to art over time. Gortner's work in painting and its implications come to a cold light in Force Field.

Over an emergent career of painting with disparate art materials including other artists paintings, stretchers, paint and ideas, the artist finds ways to energize them with paint and brush as well as themes of multiplicity, interconnectivity, transformation, and sustainability- amounting to something that's strictly never been done before.

Force Field will be on view through November 14.