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Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery is proud to announce an exhibition of paintings, drawings, constructions, and sculptures by Sidney Gordin (1918-1996), an artist of both the New York and San Francisco schools. In Gordin’s fifty years of art making, rigorous Constructivism collided with the artist’s playful and intuitive side. Did Gordin learn to this intuitive process from Abstract Expressionists like Arshile Gorky and Willem de Kooning with whom he associated at “the Club” in New York? Or, might his work have roots in the early days of a movement that came to be called the Fluxus Movement - a movement whose earliest inspirations came from a series of lectures on “indeterminacy” delivered by John Cage at the New School for Social Research, where Gordin taught in the mid 50s?

Fluxus eventually blossomed into a movement that sought to blur the boundary between Art and Life, sneaking conceptual art ideas into everyday life. It used humor, but it had profound political overtones, as it sought to shock the masses into a revolutionary art perspective with happenings, mail art, and other subversive strategies. Evidently, Gordin’s work was apolitical.  It did not aim to shock, but Gordin did treat each work of art as a process more than a destination. He also used visual humor, a possible nod to Fluxus godfather Marcel Duchamp.


Constructivism in Flux traces Gordin’s development from early Abstract Expressionist paintings and line drawings from the 1940s, metal sculptures made in the 50s and 60s, wood constructions made in the 60s and again in the 80s, and paintings from the late 80s and early 90s.

Sidney Gordin was born in Ukraine and came to the United States at age four to settle in Brooklyn. He attended Brooklyn Technical High School where he showed an aptitude for drawing and learned mechanical drafting and welding. At WPA summer art classes, he made the decision to pursue fine art. He was later accepted at Cooper Union. In 1949, his focus shifted to sculpture. In 1951, Gordin hit it big with his inclusion in the exhibition American Sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Within four years, had been featured at the MOMA, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, and Grace Borgenicht gallery. In 1958, Gordin accepted a professorship in the sculpture department at UC Berkeley, where he taught until 1986.


4:21 | Jeremy Tessmer

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