STATEMENT and BIO
Ginnie Gardiner is a mid-career New York artist who has shown in numerous solo and group exhibits for 30 years. Gardiner graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1974. In 2005 she moved upstate to Catskill, New York, where she and her husband renovated and restored the former Lyceum, a Federal era building located in this historic village.
“‘You breathe more here,’ says Gardiner, standing in her courtyard. And you can see that fresh air in Gardiner’s recent paintings, sun-streaked portraits and landscapes that attest to the dramatic impact of her move upstate after a quarter-century in a Manhattan loft. Yet these bold, assured images have unmistakable affinities with the cool modernism of Gardiner’s still lifes from the 1980s and the vibrant interplay between figuration and abstraction in her collage-inspired paintings of the ‘90s. They indicate the continuity of her formal concerns even as she opens up her work to the sights and sounds of her new environment.” -Wendy Smith, 2015
Gardiner’s distinctive style of color notes of optically mixed oil paints produces shimmering, figurative abstractly coherent works. Gardiner cites the American Modernists and 2nd generation New York School Artists and specifically Alex Katz, Louisa Matthiasdottir and Lois Dodd, with their reductive treatment of form and clarity of light, as influences. “Of course each artist has a distinctive way of unsettling our habits of seeing. With the sunlit stillness of her paintings, Gardiner seizes our attention and holds it with pictorial subtleties that show us, by stages, that stillness is not stasis. Presenting a precisely calibrated balance between figurative images and the harmonies of sheer form, each of her paintings oscillates between these two ways of seeing. Subliminal at first, this oscillation becomes conscious as we begin to see ourselves seeing. Encouraging us to be aware of how we make sense of the raw data of vision, Gardiner reminds us of our responsibility for the look—and the meaning—of our world.” -Carter Ratcliff, 2014