Historical Journal

Interviews,Journal Archives,Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Archives

Anthony-Peter Gorny: Sympathy of All Things

May 4, 1984
Judith Stein

A writer and curator, studied at Barnard College, and has a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Eye of the Sixties, Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art, (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016). Her curatorial projects include Red Grooms, A Retrospective, for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and The Figurative Fifties, New York School Figurative Expressionism, co-curated with Paul Schimmel. Her exhibition, I Tell My Heart: The Art of Horace Pippin, traveled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1995, and earned a best catalogue award from AICA/USA. Her articles, interviews and reviews have appeared in Art in America, Art News, and The New York Times Book Review, as well as on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air and Morning Edition. Among her honors is a Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant; a Pew Fellowship for literary non-fiction; and a Lannan Foundation writing residency in Marfa, Texas.

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"In Arlequin’s Fountain, twin bevelled wall mirrors flank an institutional water cooler."

May 4 through June 17, 1984
Anthony-Peter Gorny coaxes great subtleties of form and content to emerge from his lithographs. So Intriguing are his subjects that we almost take for granted his superb technical herding of nuances of texture, line, and light and dark. Gorny gives a lot to his audience and calls upon us to look long and hard at his images; and of course we are rewarded for our efforts. Because lithography is a process of printing a reverse image, any lettering directly on the stone has to be done backwards if it is intended to be legible in the final print. Gorny scrawls notes on his prints which we see backwards. You may wish to use a mirror to read his words or you may decide not to decode the messages.
Mirrors, which are used by printmakers to project how the final print will look, appear occasionally in Gormy’s images. In a work called Vanity Mirrors, which is likely a pun also meaning vanity reflected, we see a man’s reflected image. We assume that it is the artist or that it is meant to stand for any artist engaged in the reflective production of art.
In Arlequin’s Fountain, twin bevelled wall mirrors flank an institutional water cooler. In the reflection we observe a near-empty dining room. On the wallpapered wainscotting just below are two clown outfits, enlivened in a human gesture, like a doll cutout, but missing heads. We the viewers, were we to enter the picture as visitors to the imaginary space depicted, would see our faces reflected as a harlequin’s head.
A canny, intelligent artist, Gorny presents provocative conceits concerning the world of literal and figurative perception, and he investigates the three-way relationship between an artist, his work, and his viewers.
Judith Stein
Coordinator, Morris Gallery
Artist Statement
Artists, just as, say, novelists,
often find it of the utmost
importance to invent, give and create
views that are not their own.
Just as well I find is the sense
found in contradicting these words.
To treat the picture as some symbol
for the artist and his personality
is a Romantic conception. Why try
to condemn pictures and the wide breadth
that they possess to such limited modes
as autobiography.
Just as well I find is the sense
found in contradicting these words.
What attracts me to these is not
how neatly, sharply they unite,
but rather how disperse, disintegrate
and independent each part remains.
Just as well I find is the sense
found in contradicting these words.
Events can occur in pictures
of which I have no past experience,
having never even before now
Imagined references related to them.
Just as well I find is the sense
found in contradicting these words.
After a work is completed
other aims replace it.
The work that is done remains
independent and loses nothing
in my eventual distance from it.
Just as well I find is the sense
found in contradicting these words.
In pictures there is no problem of
the sort that have solutions
to be found. That is applied science.
Just as well I find is the sense
found in the contradicting these words.
I am very forgetful
(perhaps I am lucky)
even of my direct knowledge
by acquaintance and
experience of these, my own work.
Just as well I find is the sense
found in the contradicting these words.

Anthony -Peter Gorny
Check List
Unless otherwise noted, the medium is lithography. The unframed dimensions for numbers 1 through 22 are 16-1/2 ” x 22-1/2 “.
1. Arms Into Hands to Tress, 1978-1980
2. A Primative must have drawn this, 1978-1980
3. For those who still would, 1978-1980
4. Game of Rummy
5. Just what is Nature anymore?, 1978-1980
6. A Table feigning a fawn (from a time when fruit had seeds), 1978-1980
7. Like a weight you do not remove or lift, 1978-1980
8. A Modern place for you and me, 1878-1980
9. Kisses like handshakes and handshakes as kisses, 1978-1981
10. Faiyum Portrait, 1978-1981
11. That hurt my feelings, 1978-1981
12. Doubt-in-Thomas, 1978-1981
13. Vanity Mirrors, 1978-1981
14. Marriage, 1978-1981
15. Arlequin’s Fountain, 1978-1981
16. “Empty Pockets” mean freedom!, 1978-1981
17. “If you don’t… ” then bomb shelter notes, 1978-1981
18. Nature made Man, 1978-1981
19. A.B.D.O.M.A.N (Sometimes a picture is almost like having the real thing), 1978-1982
20. Polyptych (Why, of course it’s a cross.), 1978-1982
21. Paperface (Broken Halos), 1978-1982
22. Why do only some bruises heal? (Unclear Nuclear), 1978-1981
23. Comforter, c. 1972 and earlier, 18-1/2″ x 10-1/2″, stipple etching and aquatint
24. Untitled, c. 1973-1974 and earlier, 15″ x 20-1/2″, stipple etching and aquatint
25. Untitled, 1974 and earlier, 10-1/2″ x 19″, stipple etching and aquatint
26. Backwards on the Back, 1975-1976 and earlier, 24″ x 34″
27. Untitled, 1973-1974 and earlier, 4″ x 7″, stipple etching and aquatint
28. H.T.A.D, 1973 and earlier, 11″ x 16″, stipple etching and aquatint,
29. Untitled, 1974-1975 and earlier, 16″ x18″, stipple etching and aquatint
30. Magpie Callpher, 1978-1982 and earlier, 20″ x 28″
31. Magpie Calipher, 1978-1982 and earlier, 13″ x 21″
32. The Five Senses, 1972 and earlier, 18″ x 24″, stipple etching and aquatint
33. T.A.I.P/P.A.I.E, 1976-1977 and earlier, 18″ x 22″
34. Centers of Power, 1982-present and earlier, 15-1/2″ x 54″, Courtesy of Eiko Press
35. Meeting Piece, 1972 and earlier, 10-1/2″ x 14-1/2″, stipple etching and aquatint
36. Sign of a Sacred Piece, 1973-1976 and earlier, stipple etching and aquatint
37. T.W.W.M.S.T, 1974-1975 and earlier, 10-1/2″ x 12″, stipple etching and aquatint

Unless otherwise noted, all are handbound books of artist-made paper. Covers are silk, linen or leather, over gessoed masonite panels. Oil and acrylic paints, rough gilt are on some surfaces.
1. Wastebook, 1970-1974, 11-1/2 ” x 9″ x 2″
2. Leather Book of Proofs, 1978-1984, 13″ x 11″ x 11/2″
3. Votives, 1982-1983, 13-1/2 ” x 11-1/2 ” x1-1/2 ”
4. A Visionary (like a Dictionary), 1982-1983 (bound), 16″ x 14″ x 5″
5. Simultaneous Vibrations Volume II, 1978-1980, 12-1/2 ” x 9-1/2 ” x 3″
6. The Twin Book, 1983-1984, 19″ x 13-1/2″ x 2″
7. B.M.F.V.V in Book cover, 1980-1984, handbound book in bronze cover, 18-1/2″ x 22-1/2″
8. B.M.F.V.V in Book case, 1980-1984, handbound book in bronze case, 18″ x 30″ x 24″
9. Transitivity Volume 1 Nature, 45″ x 30″
10. Transitivity Volume 2 Domesticated, 45″ , x 30″
11. Transitivity Volume 3 Human, 45″ x 30″
12. Transitivity Volume 4 Inventions, 45″ x 30″
13. Transitivity Volume 5 Principles, 45″ x 30″
Numbers 9 through 13 are framed in bas relief. They date from 1983-1984, and contain photographs taken from 1973 to the present.

1. Predella Panel, 1972-1976, silver gelatin, 22 photos, 5″ x 8″ each, 12″ x 10 feet
2. Predella Panel, 1972-1976, silver gelatin, 22 photos, 5″ x 8″ each, 12″ x 10 feet
3. After a Plan of Duccio’s Maesta, 1981-1982 and earlier, color “C” prints, 35 photos varying dimensions, 51 ” x 60″

1. January’s Work, pencil on paper framed, 22-1/2″ x 29-1/8″, courtesy of The Brooklyn Museum, A. Augustus Healy Fund, 1979.
2. Portrait of Richard Hagan, pencil on paper, framed in plexibox, 36″ x 29″, courtesy of Terrance D. West
Anthony-Peter Gorny
Born Buffalo, N.Y., 1950
B.FA., State University of New York at Buffalo, 1972
M.F.A., Yale University, New Haven, 1974
Formerly Associate Professor at the Tyler School of Art the artist now teaches printmaking at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Selected Exhibitions
The American Artist as Printmaker, Twenty-third National Exhibition of Prints, Brooklyn Museum
Experimental Impressions, Institute of Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA
The New Image, Associated American Artists, Philadelphia
New American Photographs, California State College at San Bernardino
Lithographs from the B.M.F.V.V Cycle, Jeffrey Fuller Fine Art, Philadelphia
Contemporary Realist Prints, Nelson Gallery of Art-Atkins Museum of Fine Arts, Kansas City
Votives, Nexus Gallery, Philadelphia
Contemporary American Drawing in Black and White, Brooklyn Museum

Selected Awards and Honors
Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship, 1983
Board of Governors’ Award, 57th Annual International Competition, The Print Club, Philadelphia, 1981
Eugene Feldman Memorial Award, 56th Annual International Competition, The Print Club, Philadelphia, 1980
Pennell Fund Purchase Prizes, Library of Congress, 1973, 1975

Selected Collections
Brooklyn Museum
Library of Congress, Washington, DC
National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC
New Orleans Museum of Art
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Pratt Graphics Center, New York
Yale University Art Gallery

Selected Bibliography
Conheim, Maryanne. “The Art Boom,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 15,1979.
Fabbri-Butera, Virginia. “The Fan As Form and Image in Contemporary ,” Arts Magazine, May, 1981.
Richard. “ReVislon,” Arts Exchange Magazine, July – August 1979.
Katz, Jonathan. “Are You Listening?” The Philadelphia Bulletin, October 26, 1980.
Russell, John. “American Painters Are Now Printmakers, Too,” The New York Times, November 20,1983.
Tannous, David. “Anthony Gorny,” The Washington Evening Star, March 15, 1977.
Weinstein, Ann. “Crisp Photos Slow Life’s Fuzzy Edge,” Roanoke Times and World News, September 28, 1980.
The Morris Gallery displays the work of outstanding contemporary artists with a connection to Philadelphia, determined by birth, schooling or residence. The exhibitions are chosen by a committee, composed of area artists, museum personnel and collectors, and the curatorial staff of the Academy. Currently serving on the Morris Gallery Exhibition Committee are: Ofelia. Garcia, Anne d’Harnocourt Jennie 0. Dietrich, Harold Jacobs, Janet Kardon, Jay Richardson Massey, Charles Mather III, John Moore, Jody Pinto, Mark Rosenthal, Acey Wolgin; and Academy staff Frank Goodyear, Kathy Foster, Linda Bantel, Betty Romanella and Judith Stein, Morris Gallery coordinator.
Copyright The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1984.
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