The exhibition includes large and small-scale paintings along with charcoal drawings, all of which Gornik continues to offer a penetrating and deeply personal view of the natural environment. Gornik’s imagery – approaching storms and lowering skies; turbulent seas; tranquil, sun-dappled forests – is rooted in observed reality, a world synthesized, abstracted and remembered. It confirms the continuity of past and present; of expanse and the intimacy of place; of stillness and the inexorable momentum of atmospheric change. In these captured moments, time yields, the natural world triumphs, and calm descends.
In both her paintings and drawings, light functions as a palpable, lucid, physical presence with the capacity to illuminate the world as well as to cast it into darkness. In Gornik’s large, beautifully modulated charcoal drawings, the backlit sky is so white that it turns the trees dark, and sends raking sunlight breaking through branches and streaking across the forest floor...it is the deep black of the trees that is turning the sky so white…She is crafting some imagery by not drawing it at all: she can only deliver the sky by rendering the tree.
Born in Cleveland, April Gornik received her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. In 2009, the Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY presented a survey exhibition of her work entitled The Luminous Landscapes of April Gornik, and in 2004, the Neuberger Museum of Art, SUNY/Purchase, NY organized a traveling mid-career survey. Gornik’s work is included in major private and museum collections throughout the United States. The monograph April Gornik: Drawings, published by FigureGround Press, was released in 2014. She has received a Lifetime Achievement in the Arts award from Guild Hall Academy of the Arts and the Award of Excellence for Artistic Contributions to the Fight Against AIDS from amFAR. April Gornik lives and works in New York.