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Jean Gorin

Raum-Zeit-Konstruktion N° 10, von der Pyramide ausstrahlend, 1955/1957
Oil on wood
81,5 x 56,5 x 56,5 cm

Photo: Gerhard Sauer

 

Jean Gorin’s Spatio-Temporal Construction no. 10, Emanating from the Pyramid from the years 1955/57 rests on a notion of sculpture that artists like Pablo Picasso, Hans Arp, and the Russian Constructivists developed at the beginning of the twentieth century. They no longer regarded sculpture as a self-contained configuration. The classic three-dimensional object, in which circumambulation and with that the dimension of time is an integral part of the concept, was expanded: the opening of the sculpture granted a view through the work and intertwined it with the surrounding space.

 

Gorin took inspiration from artists such as Georges Vantongerloo and Piet Mondrian, and from 1926 onward came up with his own interpretation of Neoplasticism in France. He was so impressed by its ideas that over the years he actually fitted out a studio in the Neoplasticist style. 

 

In the work shown here from the Marli Hoppe-Ritter Collection, he has transposed principles from his constructive paintings and reliefs to sculpture. The work distinguishes itself by a carefully balanced, complex interplay of lines and surfaces in space. It consists of a tracery of black rods arranged at right angles to one another, bearing rectangles in the colours red, blue, yellow, grey and white. Since the composition has been designed in an open manner, complex relationships arise between the elements located on their various levels. Furthermore, through their staggered arrangement within the three-dimensional construction, Gorin has simultaneously heightened the spatial effect of the individual shapes and colours. Ultimately the work recalls with its tectonic appearance the visionary models of Modernist architecture. Gorin, who actually referred to himself as a “painter-architect”, and not only created artworks during his stay in the south of France in the years 1947 to 1956, but also architectural drawings, is here pursuing a central idea of the De Stijl movement: connecting art with the reality of human life. A number of versions reaching several metres in height were made from the model-like work, including an outdoor sculpture erected in 1980 in Genlis in Brittany measuring all of eight metres.

 

Jean Gorin

1899 born in Saint-Émilien-de-Blain (FR)

1981 died in Niort (FR)