Representational portrait painting
Kristy Gordon, "Whisper," 24 x 20 in.

Three years ago, Kristy Gordon moved back to her hometown of Nelson, BC, leaving the bustle of New York City and returning to the quietude of the mountains in this heritage city in Canada. It was a difficult decision to make but in hindsight it all felt almost divinely guided. She spent the pandemic in the safety of the Kootenays, and also received a regional art grant from the Columbia Basin Trust and Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance. As Gordon will be moving back to NYC this June, her new solo exhibition, “Planetary,” punctuates the completion of this precious time she has spent in her hometown.

Artist Kristy Gordon in studio
Artist Kristy Gordon in studio; Photo by Louis Bockner

This marks the end of a busy year for the artist. Gordon’s work was included in shows with Grenning Gallery in Long Island, NY and Garvey|Simon in NYC and she has been teaching one day painting workshops via Zoom throughout the pandemic.

Over the years, Gordon has had numerous solo exhibitions, and she’s looking forward to presenting her work for the first time near her hometown.

Some of the largest paintings in this new body of work were started in New York City just before her move. However, the majority of the paintings were done in the last couple years and were heavily influenced by the global upheaval of the pandemic as well as social justice movements.

Contemporary narrative painting
Kristy Gordon, “Liminality,” 52 x 64 in.

“’The Cosmic Lotus’ and ‘Strangled Planet’ are the largest figurative paintings I’ve ever done,” says Gordon. “They took about three and a half years to complete and I started them as an artist who couldn’t do a painting of that size and complexity and finished them as an artist who could.”

Large-scale floral painting
Kristy Gordon, “The Cosmic Lotus,” 60 x 96 in.
Contemporary narrative painting
Kristy Gordon, “Strangled Planet,” 54 x 96 in.

The paintings in “Planetary” interweave motifs from disparate genres and time periods—from Old Master history painting to contemporary portraiture—to create an inclusive narrative about the shared struggle, strength and resilience of people in today’s global climate. These paintings subvert the tradition of history painting by dismantling and repopulating narratives with a diverse and inclusive cast of figures, in a way that speaks broadly to the current activist movements that champion equality and environmental awareness.

Contemporary narrative painting
Kristy Gordon, “Planetary,” 30 x 36 in.

Planetary art Installation“Planetary,” runs through June 6, 2021 at the Langham Cultural Center in Kaslo, BC. There will be a Zoom opening for the show on Sunday, April 25th at 1pm Pacific Time. To register for the virtual “Meet the Artist” event email [email protected] To find out more about the show visit www.thelangham.ca.


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