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The Book Column : Daniel Gordon : New Canvas


For The Eye of Photography, photographic books are as important as an exhibition or a portfolio. They make the history and the actuality of the medium. Our correspondent Zoé Isle de Beauchaine has a tirelessly curious and informed look at the latest releases.

For the past fifteen years, Daniel Gordon has been composing exuberant and colourful photographs from objects made of images. Playing with the codes of photography, sculpture and painting, he blurs the boundaries between the second and third dimensions.

Working mainly in his Brooklyn studio, Gordon gleans images from the internet which he digitally retouches before modelling them : printed, cut out, crumpled, folded and then glued, they gradually become sculptures used in his photographic settings, most often still-lives.

It is this genre that publisher Chose Commune features in New Canvas, the latest book devoted to the American photographer. Beginning with an inventory of his pottery – vases, jugs, amphorae – and backgrounds composed of abstract forms or figures echoing his objects, the book offers a rich overview of his still-lives, whose creative process is dissected in a brilliant essay by curator Susan Thompson.

These compositions essentially combine vases, flowers and foods, the classic still-life trio, which Gordon diverts through an exhilarating use of colour, a particular attention to surfaces and a play with the echo or superimposition of forms.

Still-life allows Gordon to experience the creative potential of photography, exploring pictorial processes such as colour, pattern and form: « Im actually not particularly interested in still-life; Im interested in working on compositions. » With the subject now secondary, Gordon is free to reuse some of his creations ad infinitum, such as the 7a pitcher, which can be found in several of his photographic paintings.

Daniel Gordon’s visually intoxicating still-lives are a splendid tribute to form and colour as well as to the experimental potential of photography.


Daniel Gordon – New Canvas
Photographs: Daniel Gordon
Text: Susan Thompson
Editorial Direction: Cécile Poimboeuf-Koizumi
Graphic design: Akiko Wakabayashi
French / English
21 x 29 cm
160 pages
ISBN: 979-10-96383-27-6
Available in bookstores or online

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