As a PhD art and architecture historian, also graduate in archaeology, I have studied John J Gorman’s work for one year. Since his childhood, the artist, born in London in 1964, has created installations, mural paintings, oil on canvas paintings, and several drawings using pastel, charcoal, and a wide variety of pencils. His work is imbued by a great scholarship, as he has studied art and architecture history, mathematics, philosophy, literature and poetry at both University College and Trinity College in Dublin. He also self trained and has been at 16 admitted to the National College of Art and Design in the same town. Andre Malraux’ ‘’Musée Imaginaire” is highly present in his work, which convokes an incredible richness of references, coming as well from the ancient Greeks and Romans, as from medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art. Fascinated by Masaccio, Michelangelo and Picasso, John J Gorman has explored Cubism through the centuries, and owns a particular sensitivity regarding Jacques Derrida’s writings. His work shows also how he grasps the more recent artists of the second part of the 20th century to nowadays. In current production, he distinguished himself by creations in which line, irradiated by light, charged by the pressure of space, the amazing volumes, and inventiveness, give birth to exquisite and powerful figures, mastered compositions, and are incredibly timeless, as each masterpiece has to be. The art of the greatest masters of all times is, in his work, transposed and transcended, and stretched to nowadays. He also revisits art iconography and keeps inventing new themes, which questions one’s way of seeing and thinking art history. His drawings are both landscapes, paintings, engravings, sculptures, architectures, and he achieves the rare combination to create works which are neither abstract nor figurative. The strength his work owns, its meaning, embody, for me, a great hope for the future of art in the 21st century.
Delphine Costedoat, University of Bordeaux, France