Gagosian Gallery unveils a curated selection of the acclaimed Scottish artist Douglas Gordon in Athens, Greece.
Maybe some words read better in neon—maybe some people look better under neon.Douglas Gordon
Gordon’s work investigates collective memory and our sense of psychological security through distortions of time and space, often using his and other artists’ work as material. Gordon has created text-based works since the 90s – the first neon work was Empire, installed in an alleyway outside a Glasgow pub.
Gordon’s new neon works are autobiographical. They resonate in ways ideas and techniques are born, grow, and interconnect.
Because neon is a gas and was discovered, not invented, it quickly became a byword or symbol for the essence of discovery.Douglas Gordon
Inspired by illuminated signs in old movies, Gordon was seduced by neon’s fusion of novelty and illicit glamour. Each neon work in the exhibition has a “partner” (not on view) that completes a well-known line from a film or a lyric from a popular song.
I second that emotion from a 1968 song by Smokey Robinson that was covered in 1980 by the English new waveband Japan.
I don’t care; I don’t care has a dual reference, reproducing a line familiar to “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” (1986) by the Smiths and Pavement’s “Cut Your Hair” (1994).
Finally, the exhibition acknowledges neon’s transformation from a common platform for commercial signage to a rarified technology superseded by digital display. The gnomic verbal content of Gordon’s texts chimes with the alchemical nature of neon and its place in the history of modernism; the medium has a long and distinguished creative heritage, having been used by numerous artists, including Dan Flavin, Joseph Kosuth, and Bruce Nauman.
About Douglas Gordon
Douglas Gordon was born in 1966 in Glasgow and lives and works in Berlin. Collections include Tate, London; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Solo exhibitions include Timeline, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006, traveled to Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires); Pretty much every film and video work from about 1992 until now, British School at Rome (2007, traveled to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art); Between Darkness and Light. Works 1993–2004, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany (2007); Tate, London (2010); I am also …, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel (2013); Pretty much every film and video work from about 1992 until now, Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris (2014); 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014); Documenta 14, Athens and Kassel, Germany (2017); and In my shadow, Aros Museum, Aarhus, Denmark (2019).
Gordon’s film works have been shown at the Festival de Cannes; Toronto International Film Festival; Venice Film Festival; and Glasgow Film Festival, among others. In 1996, he received the Turner Prize and the Kunstpreis Niedersachsen, Kunstverein Hannover. He was awarded the Premio 2000 at the 47th Biennale di Venezia (1997); Hugo Boss Prize (1998); and Käthe-Kollwitz Prize awarded by the Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2012). In 2012, Gordon became a Commandeur dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres, awarded the title by the French Cultural Minister in Berlin on behalf of the French Republic.
Opening reception: Thursday, April 6, 7–10 pm
April 6–May 20, 2023
22 Anapiron Polemou Street, Athens