Open: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm

39 Walker Street, 2nd Floor, NY 10013, New York, United States
Open: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm


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Sonia Gechtoff: Objects on the New Landscape

The Upstairs at Bortolami, New York

Fri 12 Jan 2024 to Sat 2 Mar 2024

39 Walker Street, 2nd Floor, NY 10013 Sonia Gechtoff: Objects on the New Landscape

Tue-Sat 10am-6pm

Artist: Sonia Gechtoff

A solo exhibition at two venues:

Bortolami
The Upstairs at 39 Walker street

Andrew Kreps Gallery
394 Broadway (on view through February 17)


Artworks

Sonia Gechtoff, Untitled, 1986

Acrylic and graphite on paper mounted to linen

46 × 38 1/4 in

© Sonia Gechtoff. Courtesy David Richard Gallery, Bortolami, New York, and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photo: Guang Xu

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Sonia Gechtoff, Streamers II, 1989

Acrylic on canvas

31 × 45 in

© Sonia Gechtoff. Courtesy David Richard Gallery, Bortolami, New York, and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photo: Guang Xu

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Sonia Gechtoff, Hiroshige Revisited II, 1988

Acrylic on canvas

39 × 55 in

© Sonia Gechtoff. Courtesy David Richard Gallery, Bortolami, New York, and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photo: Guang Xu

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Sonia Gechtoff, Big Red Rock in the Sea, 1984

Acrylic and graphite on paper

40 1/2 × 48 in

© Sonia Gechtoff. Courtesy David Richard Gallery, Bortolami, New York, and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photo: Guang Xu

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Sonia Gechtoff, Devouring Wave, 1984

Acrylic and graphite on paper mounted to linen

40 1/2 × 49 in

© Sonia Gechtoff. Courtesy David Richard Gallery, Bortolami, New York, and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photo: Guang Xu

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Sonia Gechtoff, Moon Rising, 1989

Acrylic on canvas

40 1/4 × 60 1/4 in

© Sonia Gechtoff. Courtesy David Richard Gallery, Bortolami, New York, and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photo: Guang Xu

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Sonia Gechtoff, Untitled, 2004

Acrylic and graphite on board

16 1/2 × 20 1/2 in

© Sonia Gechtoff. Courtesy David Richard Gallery, Bortolami, New York, and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photo: Guang Xu

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Sonia Gechtoff, Untitled, 2004

Acrylic and graphite on board

16 1/2 × 20 1/2 in

© Sonia Gechtoff. Courtesy David Richard Gallery, Bortolami, New York, and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photo: Guang Xu

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Sonia Gechtoff, Kynance Cove, 1984

Acrylic and graphite on paper mounted to linen

40 × 49 in

© Sonia Gechtoff. Courtesy David Richard Gallery, Bortolami, New York, and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photo: Guang Xu

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Sonia Gechtoff, Untitled (Round Icon  Collage), 1962

Acrylic, pastel, graphite on paper

29 3/4 × 29 3/4 in

© Sonia Gechtoff. Courtesy David Richard Gallery, Bortolami, New York, and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photo: Guang Xu

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Sonia Gechtoff, Ghost Waves IV, 1984

Acrylic and graphite on paper mounted to linen

40 1/2 × 48 in

© Sonia Gechtoff. Courtesy David Richard Gallery, Bortolami, New York, and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photo: Guang Xu

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Sonia Gechtoff, Red Map, 1961

Oil on canvas

20 1/8 × 20 in

© Sonia Gechtoff. Courtesy David Richard Gallery, Bortolami, New York, and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photo: Guang Xu

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Sonia Gechtoff, Untitled, 1986

Acrylic and graphite on paper mounted to linen

45 × 37 1/2 in

© Sonia Gechtoff. Courtesy David Richard Gallery, Bortolami, New York, and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photo: Guang Xu

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Installation Views

Installation image for Sonia Gechtoff: Objects on the New Landscape, at Bortolami Installation image for Sonia Gechtoff: Objects on the New Landscape, at Bortolami Installation image for Sonia Gechtoff: Objects on the New Landscape, at Bortolami Installation image for Sonia Gechtoff: Objects on the New Landscape, at Bortolami Installation image for Sonia Gechtoff: Objects on the New Landscape, at Bortolami Installation image for Sonia Gechtoff: Objects on the New Landscape, at Bortolami Installation image for Sonia Gechtoff: Objects on the New Landscape, at Bortolami Installation image for Sonia Gechtoff: Objects on the New Landscape, at Bortolami

There is little stillness in the frenzied abstractions of Sonia Gechtoff (Ukrainian American, b. 1926, d. 2018), whose paintings evoke colliding waves, gusts of wind, and falling water. As with other Abstract Expressionists of her era, Gechtoff had a reverence for the sublime and a penchant for dramatic, boundless form. Though she largely eschewed from any objectivity or symbolism, she delved deeply into a mysticism derived from non-Western sources and lineages.

Gechtoff was born in Philadelphia to Jewish émigrés from Odessa and Bessarabia. Leonid, a notable landscape painter, died when she was just 15 but left an indelible influence on his daughter. Gechtoff inherited his knowledge of Byzantine art and developed a fascination with icon painting. She utilized several recurring motifs in her compositions which resemble some of the hallmarks of icons: a heavily stylized natural world; a “reverse perspective” in which distant forms on the horizon are enlarged; frame-like borders which recall the inset rectangular ark within an icon’s wood panel; and moons and celestial shapes reminiscent of halos.

These centrifugal, circular shapes feature prominently in early works such as the palette knife oil painting, Lucia and the Wave, 1961-62 and a graphite drawing, Untitled (Round Icon Collage), 1962. She later began to look to the asymmetries and aesthetics of Japanese ukiyo-e. This is seen most overtly in Hiroshige Revisited II, 1988 and a companion painting, Streamers II, 1989, rendered in the distinctive materials she utilized the last several decades of her career – lavish brushstrokes of acrylics overlaid with lustrous, feverishly applied graphite line.

This exhibition’s title references the title of the inaugural group exhibition at the influential Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, Objects on the New Landscape Demanding of the Eye. Gechtoff was exhibited alongside Clyfford Still, Richard Diebenkorn, Jay DeFeo, Frank Lobdell, and John Altoon. This 1957 show was immediately followed by Gechtoff’s first major solo show, also at Ferus Gallery.

Sonia Gechtoff, Objects on the New Landscape, installation view, The Upstairs at Bortolami, New York, 2024. Courtesy David Richard Gallery, Bortolami, New York, and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photography by Kunning Huang

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