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George Gould
Gould at Thirty: Paintings Drawings Explorations Photos

January 2 - January 23, 2002

Effective teachers never stop learning, and often find they learn as much from their students as their students do from them. This is particularly true for those involved in the creative arts. The artist/teacher is dedicated to living as both student and instructor, and is equally dedicated to the principle that each sustains the other. It is a principle Professor Gould brought with him when he began teaching art at Kingsborough in 1970. For thirty years has explored color in the painting class, in the art history classroom, and especially in his own studio.

This exhibition is intended to review his painting in the context of its own development. Consider it as you would a course of study. Selected works from the past thirty years are displayed chronologically in order to reveal the continuity of his purpose and the evolution of his style. Presented so, it will provide a working model for serious students of painting, and will give all visitors an intimate look at the creative process of an artist who has resolutely and methodically investigated the infinite possibilities of color. Like the work of Bauhaus teacher Josef Albers, George Gould’s painting does not lecture. It invites by the simple but effective means of its own enthusiasm.

Peter Malone


George Gould’s work is non-objective. It is not abstracted from, or influenced by nature. Instead, it explores the relationships of colors, shapes and markings. It is about chance and design, ambiguity and clarity, opposites and similarities. The exhibition may be viewed as two sequential periods, the first from 1968 to 1976 where the seeds of his complex approach take root, and the period since 1976 in which this approach, itself an echo of its own evolution, continues as an open-ended investigation.

Although the work after 1976 may initially appear more spontaneous that work prior to that date, the later paintings are carefully planned and orchestrated over a considerable period of time. They are assembled from two or more separate shapes cut from larger painted sheets of paper developed over many months. The process begins as each sheet is assigned specific colors and a series of values for those colors. Layer upon layer of color is added, each consisting of strokes, markings, and veils applied in a painterly manner. Chance effects develop as thinner paint is dragged over thicker markings, or as under-layers peek through more transparent areas. When a sheet arrives at the appropriate level of richness and balance, a level that can take more than a year to reach, Gould considers that part of the process finished.

After much visual scrutiny he then cuts a shape from each sheet that relates to the painterly activity evident within. The resulting hard edge contrasts with the painterly quality of the brush strokes. Several shapes are selected, turned, overlapped, and moved about until a dynamic, unified form appears. Colors cross outlines. Brush strokes on one sheet reflect markings on another. A rhythm begins to interweave thematically throughout the entire work. The outline of one plays against the shape or color of another, as complex relationships, contrasts and harmonies are created, rendering a rich, dynamic image that rewards careful viewing by constantly revealing new and intriguing relationships.

Katherine Davis
curator

Exhibition checklist

Homage to Claude ... image
1990
acrylic on paper mounted on wood

Self-portrait
1961
goauche on board

Floating Forms
1968-69
oil on canvas

Space Odyssey
1969
acrylic on canvas

Study for Robert's Painting
1970
acrylic on mat board

Drawing
1970
acrylic on paper

First Shaped Painting
1974
acrylic on panel

First Exploration
1976
acrylic on paper

Drawing
1975
acrylic on paper

First Assembled Paper Painting
1976
acrylic on paper, mounted on wood

Davis Drawing
1983
pen on paper

C's Exploration
1984
acrylic on paper

Painting
1988
acrylic on paper, mounted on wood

Large Exploration
1992
acrylic on paper, mounted on wood

Black & White Drawing
1995
acrylic on paper, mounted on wood

Niagra Exploration
1996
acrylic on paper, mounted on wood

Painting in Two Parts
1994
acrylic on paper, mounted on wood

Unnamed Exploration
1997
acrylic on paper, mounted on wood

Painting 2000
(in progress)
acrylic on paper, mounted on wood

Drawing in Black, White and Gray
2001
acrylic on paper, mounted on wood




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