In July 1993, Diane and Dan Mossenson opened Indigenart, Mossenson Galleries at 115 Hay Street in Subiaco, Western Australia.
To celebrate their fifteenth year of operation, Mossenson Galleries are pleased to present the first WA solo exhibition in 26 years from one of Australia’s most important abstract artists. A Double Vision: New Works by Col Jordan is the first exhibition of non-Indigenous art to be held at their gallery. The exhibition will be opened on Wednesday 18 June 2008 by Professor Alan Robson AM, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Western Australia. Col Jordan will be present for the opening.
Born in Sydney in 1935, Col Jordan is one of Australia’s foremost abstract artists. In the mid-1960s, he was one of a small group of pioneering artists who introduced hard-edge optical abstraction to Australia. In 1968 he was included in the National Gallery of Victoria’s seminal exhibition The Field and in the past 42 years has been included in numerous major exhibitions throughout Australia and abroad. His works are held in most significant Australian collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Art Gallery of Western Australia.
He has been championed by many of the nation’s leading critics, including Bernard Smith, Patrick McCaughey and James Gleeson, and his contribution to the development of Australian art has seen him included in most of the canonical texts of Australian art history.
Over four decades, Jordan has remained a lifetime adherent of hard-edge optical abstraction, finding in it a continually fertile ground for artistic experimentation and conceptual exploration.
As James Gleeson has noted, “Unlike many practitioners of this kind of art, who tend to polish a small idea into unbalanced brilliance, Jordan is simply bursting with ideas.”
Forty-two years after his first solo exhibition, Jordan presents two major new series of works; the radiant stripes of the Auburn series and the beguiling knots of the Celtic Space series.
Their critical and commercial success is testament to the enduring power and relevance of Jordan’s conceptual investigations. According to Jordan,
Both the Celtic Space and Auburn series have common concern with the visual ambiguity that can only be investigated through painting. Physics and psychology tell us how ephemeral ‘reality’ is, so all these works seek to beguile the viewer with the beauty of colour and form but pose questions for which there are not finite answers. They are delightful puzzles, testaments to the flimsy foundations of what we call ‘reality’.
A dedicated and passionate educator, Jordan worked as Professor and Associate Dean of Fine Art at the University of New South Wales, College of Fine Arts (COFA), before retiring in 1994. In 1996, the University conferred upon him the title of Emeritus Professor.
In a contemporary culture in which we are continually bombarded with visual stimuli, and yet, so little attention is paid to what we might call a ‘critical visual literacy’, Jordan’s works take on an urgency and relevance that is as important today as it was when he began exhibiting in 1966.