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PRINT May 1977

Shape and Form in Ron Gorchov’s Painting

SHAPE IS AN OBVIOUS ISSUE in Ron Gorchov’s paintings. The characteristic “saddle” form of his stretched canvases presents a surface slightly convex at top and bottom and concave at left and right. The tensions of this bowed conformation are structurally reinforced by metal rods attached to the back. The canvas is fastened to the stretcher by staples visible along the perimeter. The resulting construction is deceptively simple. Its slow-curving surface, emerging at top and bottom while retreating on both sides, sweeps into actual space, stretching the very notion of the picture “plane.”

Gorchov, born in Chicago in 1930 and now living in SoHo, found himself especially attracted to such curvy forms when they appeared repeatedly in his earlier, more representational, work. Now his fascination with this shape reveals itself in the configuration of the actual canvas.

When in the 1960s the validity

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