The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York

Works of a Modern Master by Norman Gorbaty
Works of a Modern Master
Norman Gorbaty
February 13th - April 17th, 2009
Back to Archives

When I think of my work two words come to mind: Movement and Drawing. These concepts, as I understand, study and explore them, are recurring themes.

When I refer to “drawing” I don’t just mean the physical works on paper or the finished picture. I am also referring to the process I use in the actual “doing” of the art. This approach was greatly influenced by both Joseph Albers and Louis Kahn while at Yale. I make a mark. That mark tells me where the next mark should go and so on until the image begins to have a life of its own. It begins to tell me what it wants to be. It's for me to recognize what it wants to be and help it to become that. Sometimes I don’t give in and force a different direction, but again the piece begins to tell me what it wants to be and so on. It is this “doing” of pictures that I am about.

I am fascinated by the motion around us and often try to capture this in my work. There is movement in life as we “do” it. Everything moves. Images are constantly in motion. Whether we are physically moving or our surroundings are moving, or just our eye is moving we sense motion constantly. This movement combines with our differing perspectives of an image to create unique experiences which I artistically explore.

My journey formally began over fifty years ago while attending Amherst and Yale. At that time my focus was print-making. My works were shown in Brooklyn Museum's Print Annual for several years and included in a modest show at MOMA entitled Young American Printmakers. At around that time I married Joy, and made a switch to the less risky field of graphic arts in order to provide my family with more certain stability and comfort (or so I told myself). At the same time I continued doing my art outside the confines of my career.

After the passing of Joy, my “Old Beauty” in 2003 I have retired from my career as a graphic artist to focus completely on fine art. Joy was not only my inspiration, but she was also my audience and with her passing I found I have the need to once again show my work in more public forums.

Jules Michelet’s quote sums up both my journey and my passion for art: The end is nothing, the road is all. When a picture is finished it no longer belongs to me. You can hang it, show it, look at it, turn its face to the wall, say about it what you want, and do with it what you will. But the doing of the picture is mine. Only I own the doing.

Artist Website