The exhibition of prints by Jan Gordon at the Bydgoszcz Municipal Gallery bwa presents almost 30 linocuts from the years 2009-2022. The artist touches on difficult topics in his works, sometimes reaching into the dark recesses of the subconscious. His subjective vision of reality often surprises with grotesque symbols, ugliness and deformation. Reflections expressed in an expressive, sometimes defiant manner, are sometimes covered up with a mask of sarcasm and irony. Jan Gordon consciously refers to the aesthetics of expressionism, which developed in European art at the beginning of the twentieth century, reflecting the turbulent socio-political changes and threats occurring at that time.
In his prints there are clear references especially to the works of James Ensor and Edvard Munch, regarded as precursors of this trend. The artist uses traditional chisel linocut prints combined with his own technique, based on local burning of the matrix, which gives the prints interesting – almost painterly – valour effects. The dynamics of the composition is enhanced by the sharp styli he uses, leaving irregular, jagged marks at the ends of his lines. The most important thing for Jan Gordon is the possibility of affective expression of personal experiences or intellectual speculations, and it is in Expressionism that he finds his favourite means of expression.
It started a long, long time ago, back in primary school. I watched my brother Andrzej, a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw at the time, making linocut. And it was him who introduced me to the arcana of the technique, showed me what was necessary. That’s how I made my first steps, starting of course with a chisel made from an umbrella rail, with a lot of awkwardness and cuts. But as the technique was simple, even primitive, I was quickly drawn in and that’s how I created a collection of children’s works, naive in a way, but probably sincere. I keep them to this day, maybe one day I will show them in a humorous form. My studies were in turn a stage of creative maturation, a nice time of freedom and artistic development. There was a lot going on, a lot of exploring, but I remained faithful to my linocut technique of course, and have remained so to this day.
Jan Gordon (texts from the catalogue to the exhibition Jan Gordon. I like expressionism, Municipal Gallery bwa in Bydgoszcz, 2022)
Jan Gordon – born in 1955 in Bydgoszcz, studies at the State Higher School of Fine Arts in Poznań (presently University of Arts) in the Interior Design Studio and Woodcut Workshop under Prof. Zbigniew Lutomski. He obtained his diploma in 1983 and since then has been connected with Bydgoszcz. He deals with printmaking – linocut (in the author’s version – burnt linocut combined with classic one), sculptural forms, painting, applied arts, including interior design and artistic arrangement of exhibitions. He has taken part in open-air artistic workshops and conducted educational and workshop activities. He presented his works at 11 individual exhibitions and over 80 collective ones. He is the author of 20 art exhibitions in the Leon Wyczółkowski District Museum in Bydgoszcz.
curator: Danuta Pałys
3 Gdańska Street
10.06.2022 – 30.07.2022