Alex Dordoy ‘Model T’

Installation view, 'Model T', The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane, Glasgow, 2015
The Modern Institute, 3 Aird's Lane, Glasgow

‘Model T’ references the iconic 1908 Ford car, and the advent of mass production. ‘You can have it any colour as long as it’s black’. Co-opting this suggestion, Dordoy’s exhibition is structured around a series of six paintings depicting colour variations of a single image: a simplified landscape showing Lake Geneva and distant mountains. The image is based on a 1920’s travel poster – an advert designed to create a sense of longing in the viewer. Dordoy’s paintings repeat and retranslate this image, moving through the colour wheel, gradually accentuating this notion of desire, degrading it. Each painting’s lush palette and singularity is countered by their mechanical handling and repetition, the image disintegrates into block colour on closer viewing, the car never comes into sight; a continual deferral of satisfaction.

In addition to the paintings several floor-based works introduce the viewer as an active presence in the show. Cast iron bench ends serve to create an imaginary space, suggesting points at which to sit and absorb the landscape. Isolated, these forms are curiously human and playful. Casually discarded over the bench ends and across the floor lie paint splattered silicon moulds of the artist’s trousers. These moulded forms have a flexibility and fragility, as if they are ghosts. An implied narrative implicates these pieces, and the artist’s body, within the painted landscapes. A rucksack positioned at the entrance of the space adds to the sense of mystery – within it a fountain flows continually, the noise of running water maintains the constant of time passing.

Alex Dordoy (b. 1985, Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Lives and works in London) studied at De Ateliers, Amsterdam (2009 – 2011), California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles (2005) and Glasgow School of Art (2003 – 2007). He is currently exhibiting in ‘THE NOING UV IT’, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen. Selected exhibitions include: ‘GENERATION: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland’, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2014-15); ‘Sleepwalker’, Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag (Solo, 2014 – part of De Ateliers Debut Series); ‘persistencebeatsresistance’, Inverleith House, Edinburgh (Solo, 2014); ReMap4, Athens (Solo, 2013); ‘DOES THE IT FIT’, CIRCA Projects, Newcastle (2013, curated by Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan); ‘A House Leaves: Second Movement’, David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2013); ‘Caster and Krast Crack Autumn’, GRIMM, Amsterdam (Solo, 2013); and ‘Winner’, The Modern Institute, Glasgow (Solo, 2009).