Ron Gorchov (1930-2020) was an American artist who began working with curved surface paintings in 1967. He created his first shaped canvas work in Mark Rothko’s studio. Gorchov was best known for helping to spearhead the shaped canvas movement with his bowed wooden frames, resembling saddles or shields, stretched with linen or canvas and marked with simple shapes of thin paint providing chromatic contrasts. As part of a group of artists in New York in the 1960s and ‘70s including Frank Stella, Richard Tuttle, Blinky Palermo, and Ellsworth Kelly, Gorchov pushed painting to its extreme, defying Greenbergian formalism. Becoming a sort of hybrid between painting and sculpture, the warped edges of Gorchov’s canvases created new dimensions and depth, disorienting the viewer’s perception. The artist has become a real point of reference for the new generations with his works, suspended between two-dimensional and three-dimensional. His wooden supports, shaped and curved, assault space with force, defining a topological space.
Gorchov’s paintings are included in many prominent collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Everson Museum of Art, New York. Following a first solo show at New York’s Tibor de Nagy Gallery in 1960, Gorchov has since exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, P.S.1., Queens Museum of Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art, and Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno among other institutions.