E.J. Gold

E.J. Gold

E.J. Gold is the master of many visual artforms including painting, sculpture, pastel, photography, drawing and currently enjoys wide acclaim for his JazzArt ® which serves as stage dressing, theatrical backdrops and companion exhibits to jazz concerts and jazz events in many venues including the IAJE conferences, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Wynton Marsalis performances and many others. Here's a biographical sketch written by Linda Corriveau, the author of his photobiography, More Color Less Soul. Editor, E.J. Gold at MoMa, Gateways Fine Art Series 2005.

E.J. Gold was born in New York City in 1941. As the son of Horace L. Gold, the famous editor of GALAXY magazine — who has been called “the greatest editor ever in any field” by David Rosheim in Galaxy, the Dark and the Light Years — he grew up surrounded by some of the greatest science fiction writers of this century, artists and intellectuals, the Who’s Who in the Arts in America of the 40’s and 50’s: Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Alfred Bester, Harlan Ellison, Theodore Sturgeon, Robert Silverberg. Other celebrities associated with his family included geniuses from the arts and the sciences like John Cage and Merce Cunningham who were frequent Friday night card players at the Golds'.

Gold began an artistic career while still a child participating at the Museum of Modern Art’s Children’s Art Carnival. Later, when he was old enough to do it, he frequented the Cedar Tavern in the heyday of the New York School, enjoying the excitement of artists in the round at the cultural mecca of an entire generation. After moving to Los Angeles in 1960, Gold studied and later taught at Otis Art Institute. Major influences of this period include Rico Lebrun, Bentley Schaad and Fritz Schwaderer; Lebrun’s influence is most present in Gold’s is most present in Gold’s charcoals, while the latter has marked his landscapes. From there he went on to become a prominent member of the infamous California Nine, a guerilla artist group of the sixties.

He was widely recognized for his invention of soft and breathing sculptures and actively and prominently explored innovative artistic expressions in the sixties and seventies with Happenings and Performances, Be-Ins, and Love-Ins.

Dramatic and colorful, the images on his ceramics express his unique perspective, going beyond the object’s boundaries and expanding into the space around them. Over the years, Gold has asserted himself as a perceptual scientist who uses art as an investigative tool. His artistic expressions take many different avenues and are always in flux. The quality and diversity of his work make him one of the most interesting artists alive today. Though difficult to classify in one neat category, his art reveals a tendency towards humor, fantasy, and subtlety that betray his classical artistic background and his visionary qualities. With more than 30,000 works currently catalogued, he is the creator of a monumental oeuvre that displays expertise of draftsmanship, diversity and proficiency in almost every artistic medium, including video and music recording. All his work speaks of fertility of imagination, technical expertise and uncompromising discipline.

E.J. Gold and a group of artists officially founded the Grass Valley Graphics Group. Together they authored the Manifesto on reductionism, an artistic movement at the cutting edge of experimentation that minimizes visual elaboration in order for the viewer’s experiential expectations, previously experienced visual and emotional stimuli, and stored perceptual patterns to determine perception.

Now world-famous for his JazzArt ®, Gold's works have been exhibited in museums including the Houston Museum of Fine Art, Northern California's Museum of Ancient and Modern Art, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in NYC, the Museum of Modernism in Houston, Texas, and the Smithsonian: Gold's portrait of Herbie Hancock is in the permanent collection of the National Museum of American History.

Gold’s work has been seen in a long list of established and alternate art galleries throughout the world in Norway, Canada, Spain, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, and Australia. Some Gold Odalisque ceramics, particularly appreciated for their vividness and boldness, are currently in the solarium of the White House; other ceramics can be found at places like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Gift Shop and the stylish Tesoro’s and Gallery of Functional Art.

Gold's work often violates scale, at once denying dimension and perspective, by making use of color, form, texture, negative space, forced perspective, compressions, color field and figure-ground relationships. He typically explores the vertical dimension of time which contains the creative act itself and by orienting everything toward the viewer brings one into a relationship with it. His more important series include the Planar Contiguities, Odalisques, Expressionist Landscapes, Sanitarium, White House series, Faces of War, Moonbeam, Angels, Bardo Spaces, Boy with Unspecified Pet series, Monumentals, Lecture on Nothing, Bardo Guides, Haunted Corridors, Angels in the Corridors, and City in the Sky. His Corridor paintings with or without figures are among his most haunting and penetrating. They reach the viewer on deeper levels of being and cultivate a transcendental view. They are intimate portraits of mysterious beings, respectful of their magnificence and exaltation, often creating uneasiness because of the power of their gaze.

As an artist Gold tends to be visionary, provocative and shamanic; he skirts the borders of reality and its subtle interfaces. He creates voyaging tools with an unmistakable transcendent quality. His paintings seem to expand our consciousness, and attune our senses. The colors range through a broad spectrum and can be both brilliant and subtle. They attain a controled electrical vibration that resonates in harmony with higher emotions. Often jarring and shocking, they disarm and take one’s breath away. In short, the viewer is offered a gateway to the top floor. Therein lies their key. -- Linda Corriveau

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