Wylie: Illusion through addition, subtraction

Paintings by New York-based artist Jordan Broadworth brim with visual richness at the Kelowna Art Gallery.

Jordan Broadworth

The current installation of work in our smaller exhibition space, the Mardell G. Reynolds Gallery at the Kelowna Art Gallery, is brimming with visual richness. Twenty-five paintings by New York-based artist Jordan Broadworth are squeezed into the room, each one packing an aesthetic kick that will unpack with some force once a viewer begins looking at the work.

Broadworth achieves an incredible variety in these works, each measuring only 14 by 17 inches, especially considering his working method is the same for each. Basically, the illusion he achieves of both tactility and luminescence, is accomplished by an additive and then subtractive process. Paint is layered on, then methodically scraped away, and the works are left to dry. The rich black in each piece is the last layer to go on, and the surfaces of each work, while looking heavily textured, are actually completely flat.

This weird contradiction and surprise is one of the binaries referred to in the exhibition’s title.

Others include such opposites as linear vs painterly, gesture vs a geometric structure, and light vs dark. Each of these binaries is brought into a hard-won harmony in the pieces.

The small works are dense and active, as one might expect from an artist living in New York City. Broadworth relocated there from his native Ontario about nine years ago and has thrived in its richness of cultural offerings. He has been exhibiting professionally for about 20 years, and is a seasoned practitioner of abstraction. Viewers might pick up on allusions or nods to previous artists’ work, for example, that of the Abstract Expressionists of the mid-20th century.

There are no direct references to real life in the pieces in a visual/represenational sense, but the artist’s intellect, psychology and emotions are all strongly present. His intriguing titles (for example, wolfer, implant copy, papered saw and wrecked substitute) are plucked from a variety of random sources, and are not clues to meaning per se. The meaning of Broadworth’s art lies in its process and in his thinking and stance during its creation. He also works in large scale on canvas, and the two areas of his practice—the small Mylar works and larger canvases—feed back and forth into each other.

Ultimately there is great visual and mental pleasure to be had in looking at this exhibition, especially to those visitors willing to wade into Broadworth’s world and vicariously participate in the making of these thrilling gems of colour, shape, line, and light.

Jordan Broadworth: Vital Binaries: Recent Works on Mylar runs at the Kelowna Art Gallery until June 16.


Just Posted

Okanagan can learn from Washington’s wine industry growth

Winery owner cites importance of industry collaboration

Okanagan wineries shine in global chardonnay competition

Recognition for Kalala and Liquidity wineries at 2018 Chardonnay du Monde competition

Kelowna’s South Perimeter Road project to go ahead

Project to extend Gordon Drive doesn’t get enough signatures to keep it from moving ahead

Fleeing driver leaves behind severely damaged car

West Kelowna crash occurred at Highway 97 South junction

Dozens of impaired Kelowna drivers ticketed on St. Patrick’s Day

Kelowna RCMP stopped many vehicles for impaired driving during a one day blitz

Rainy week ahead for Okanagan and Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecast rain for the next three days, starting Tuesday afternoon

Attempted gun smuggler across the Osoyoos border sentenced

Alex Louie, who prefers the name Senk’lip, was sentenced to the mandatory minimum

Pro-Trump protest sign with F-word is OK, court rules

Judges say Ontario man can protest publicly, even using vulgar language

VIDEO: Police officer looking for distracted drivers gets hit by truck

Road safety investigator clipped by trailer while patrolling busy intersection

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

Search and rescue help injured sledders off Owlhead

Volunteer searchers also locate two hikers near Little Shuswap Lake

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Privacy watchdog to explore Facebook leak

Canadian expert says his analytics company helped Trump campaign capitalize on private Facebook info

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Most Read