Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Studio Visit with Rachael Gorchov, by Georgia Elrod

I visited Rachael Gorchov's studio in the East Village on a sunny afternoon in late May. Having seen little of her work it was great to talk about what she's been up to. Rachael recently returned from a two month artist's residency in Colorado and came back with lots of new pieces. There were two bodies of work displayed in her studio: ceramic sculptures and painted paper mache and burlap sculptures. I was first drawn to her ceramic pieces: glazed wedges, cones, shapes. The physicality of this work seemed both soft and pointed, elegant and unusual.  They were hung together on one wall and were engaging en masse and could also hold their own alone. Full of rich colors and bits of painted imagery, I could decipher small landscapes hidden among more abstract brushwork and glazes. 


Her other recent works were painted burlap pieces, also hung in relief from the wall. These were more obviously playful with bold colors and marks. As in her ceramic work, small landscapes are painted in unusual places and surrounded by abstraction. Upon first look these landscapes blend in, but soon emerge as representational gems and conceptual entry points. These small landscapes reveal specific references; they are places along the New Jersey Turnpike that Rachael has seen over and over again. Rachael paints these from imagery mostly found on the internet. The abstraction that dominates the piece serves as a frame for the small image. We discussed how these pieces comment on place, travel, and how imagery functions as reference. Talking about this work we both thought it would be interesting to take them one step further, either into total abstraction or into an even more deconstructed state. After my visit with Asya Reznikov I decided to ask Rachael to pursue a series as well, using this work as a starting point. I'm really excited to see what she comes up with!

- Georgia Elrod, June 2012