Col Jordan, Mosaic 8 – The Gate
Acrylic on canvas
160 x 280 cm
October 5-31, 2010
Born in Sydney in 1935, Col Jordan is one of Australia’s foremost abstract artists. In the mid-1960s, he was one of a small group of pioneering artists who introduced hard-edge optical abstraction to Australia, and in 1968 he was included in the seminal exhibition The Field which launched the National Gallery of Victoria’s St Kilda Road campus. Over the past four decades he has established himself as one of the leading practitioners in this style, with his works being acquired by most significant collections in Australia.
Beaming forth in dazzling combinations of high-key colour, the paintings of Col Jordan balance formal investigation with a sense of unpredictable visual paradox. Over four decades, Col Jordan has remained a lifetime adherent to hard-edge optical abstraction, finding in it a continuingly fertile ground for artistic experimentation and conceptual exploration. Combining an astute sense of optical tension with intense glowing colours, he has remained at the cutting edge of contemporary painting and sculpture. As artist and critic James Gleeson has noted, “Unlike many practitioners of this kind of art, who tend to polish a small idea into unbalanced brilliance, Jordan is simply bursting with ideas.”
Drawing together works from every major period in his career, A Play on White presents an overview of Jordan’s continued experimentation and artistic sophistication. Col Jordan’s first Melbourne solo exhibition was held in 1967 at Sweeney Reed’s Strines Gallery in Carlton. The following year, Jordan’s work was included in the seminal exhibition The Field, which launched the NGV’s St Kilda Road gallery. Jordan was represented with a sculpture and two paintings, one of which was subsequently acquired by James Mollison for the National Gallery of Australia’s collection. Since 1966, Jordan has held over 35 solo exhibitions, including the retrospective Edge and Paradox which toured New South Wales.
Aside from his successful artistic career, Jordan has been a passionate and dedicated art educator, working as Professor and Associate Dean of Fine Art at the University of New South Wales, College of Fine Arts (COFA), before retiring in 1994. In 1996, the University of New South Wales conferred upon him the title of Emeritus Professor.