Winkleman Gallery is very pleased to present “Shared Roadway Ahead,” our second solo exhibition by Scottish-born New York artist Rory Donaldson. Pushing his ongoing exploration of the space where photography and painting can overlap, Donaldson presents for the first time a body of gorgeous new work he calls the “RDX series”.
Each piece in the RDX series begins as a digital photograph of a landscape, cityscape, or other urban motif. Through an emotive selection of process, Donaldson then erases, moves, expands or reduces elements of the photograph. In his earliest works of this series, Donaldson began by technically removing graffiti off a surface, updating the erased graffiti works made in the 1990’s. He later expanded this “cleansing process” to take on board the entire image.
Altering the position, dimension and scale of elements of his photograph has been part of Donaldson’s process for many years; however, the process for the RDX series is a reversal of where he had ventured before. What remains takes on a look of paint, both oil and acrylic painted on board and canvas (which is not surprising, given Donaldson formally trained as a painter in these mediums). A work may begin as a photograph of parking lot, for example, yet end up looking like a painting of an iceberg at sea by stripping out the dark and the dull and re-organizing what remains. Other works end with less literal outcomes and their final form is more abstract, holding a different narrative, based not on re-representation but on reconstruction and the structures held within.
As Donaldson builds each work, the original representational photographic elements gradually recede leaving in their wake distorted renderings that evoke different types of paint that looks as if it has been dragged and dripped, poured on and wiped off. While the illusion of paint is present, there are always digital reminders left in the process to confirm that these began from a photographic base and have grown into their new forms from this point of construction. The outcome of Donaldson’s current investigation has resulted in a marriage that has long been in the courting stage. The works in the RDX series lie in a new realm between painting and photography, created by blending processes traditionally used in both, that he has been considering and mastering for years, and it is this path that he views as the shared roadway ahead.
Rory Donaldson is a Scottish-born artist living and working in New York; he was educated at the Grays school of art in Aberdeen Scotland from 1982-86 where he received a BA with honors. From 1986-87 he studied at the University of Ulster in Belfast where he received his MA, and from 1997-1998 at the Whitney Museum of Independent Study Program in New York. Recent exhibitions include “Industrial Aesthetics: Environmental Influences on Recent Art from Scotland” at the Hunter College Time Square Gallery in New York and “Chinese Take Out” at Art in General, New York. In 2008, Donald received the 2008 Morton Award (given for innovative work in the discipline of photography) by the Royal Scottish Academy.
For more information, contact Edward Winkleman at 212.643.3152 or [email protected]