For Immediate Release
Georg Gudni / Viggo Mortensen
Track 16 Gallery is pleased to present its foray into the genre of landscape with an exhibition of paintings by Georg Gudni and photographs by Viggo Mortensen. The exhibition, curated by Kevin Power, will be on view from Saturday, January 14, 2006, through February 18, 2006. The opening reception will be held on Saturday, January 14 from 6 to 9 P.M. and will be open to the public. There will also be a limited edition multiple signed by Georg Gudni and Viggo Mortensen available for purchase. Mortensen and Gudni will be signing art books from 1 to 4 P.M. on Saturday, January 14, 2006. Only art books will be signed (no photographs, or movie memorabilia will be signed).
Georg Gudni is an Icelandic artist whose early work moved towards the dominant tendency of informalist abstraction. Not satisfied with this solution, Gudni sought a closer rooting within the specifics of his own culture. He turned to what stood as the classical genre of Icelandic painting - to landscape. This meant a return to his own world and a finding of his place within it. Yet it was neither a literal nor a conservative return. Gudni sees abstract and landscape painting as coming from the same source. It is as if the landscapes themselves have led him towards geometry. He values the commonplace, paying close attention to those stretches of land that have no dramatic appeal, to the empty spaces that are the constants of landscape. He also focuses on the “between,” on what lies between us, the spectator, and the horizon. At the same time, he is deeply involved with the discipline of painting, with the way in which one color touches another or the way in which earth and sky come together. He is fascinated by light, air, and transparency. These are slow works that build up in layers that correspond not only to geometry and time but also to the way in which meaning itself penetrates a landscape. Gudni has found his place within a Northern Romantic tradition that centers the human need for transcendental and spiritual experience.
Viggo Mortensen’s series of work is about the essence and intensities of landscape. They are - and its a prickly term in our present climate - beautiful images. We appear to be looking at cosmologies, at photographs of globs of oil paint, or at images taken under a color microscope. They beguile, delay and seduce. Mortensen gives us a flurry of sensations, literally flashes, and also the concentrated “truth” of whatever happens to be there. These are abstract emotions that give very few clues to their source, apart from the titles that anchor them in specific landscapes and locations in Iceland and New Zealand. In his work, Mortensen finds what he feels and what is revealed in what he sees. It is the revelation of what is hidden within and also at the same time the surface brilliance of a phenomenon. He gives us images that come directly from the world but that leave us in state of disequilibrium. There is a saturation of color and, if you like, a sense of awe - a mixture of fear and wonder - before our being in the world.
For more information on the artists or the exhibition, please refer to our website at archive.track16.com. Books about the artists will be available for purchase at the gallery throughout the duration of the exhibition as well as on our website.