Melissa Gordon: Liquid Gestures
Melissa Gordon (b.1981, Cambridge, USA) is an artist, curator and writer, whose practice is concerned with the body, gesture, and painting, through the lens of feminism. Liquid Gestures is a solo exhibition featuring large-scale paintings that further her examination of modern art histories, ideas of authorship, and the appropriation of certain ‘gestures’.
In recent works, a grid, mesh or chainlink fence, is the first image silkscreened directly onto the canvas, creating a framework that plays host to an array of intriguing references. Photographs and texts relating to her research are then painted or printed onto the surface, while outlines and silhouettes of painting tools, clothing and domestic objects slip over and under colourful swathes of paint. Traversing between figuration and abstraction, these brushstrokes and pools of colour have been re-painted and reproduced from the incidental mark-making on Gordon’s studio wall with an almost forensic examination of gesture.
Gordon invites us to consider the significance and influence of artists such as Janet Sobel in relation to the drip painting and Dada poet Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven in relation to the readymade. Their contributions to art history have been eclipsed in a culture of gender inequality that is noticeably persistent even today.
Image credit: Female Readymade (Broom, Empty Calendar, Mabel’s painting, Net, Rope, Chain, Test canvas), 2020, acrylic, silkscreen, flashe, marble dust on canvas, 180 x 200 cm