Published on October 3rd 2013, 11h02 / Updated 3rd October at 11h02

Jordan Broadworth: the gradual revealer

Jordan Broadworth has arrived at a systematic approach to painting that uses a basic grid along with more or less dampened pigments that fit into a lattice he develops ever so patiently.

Originally from Ontario, Jordan Broadworth has been painting for twenty years. Based in New York, he presents his work at Galerie BAC until October 12th. Around twenty of his last abstractions are shown – works accomplished using a complex technique that demands patience, almost austerity.

Nothing compares to these paintings. At first glance, they recall the colorful Scottish tartans of intersecting horizontal and vertical lines. Looking more closely, digital displays and pixelization stand out. But explaining Broadworth’s work as such would be simplistic. For ten years, the painter has been covering his own tracks, adding layers of complexity, playing with textures, colors, depth and juggling with the concept of time itself. The Montreal contemporary art expert James D. Campbell describes his paintings as "telematic abstractions". They have now primarily become exacting and resolute studies of backgrounds, and this, in each of his paintings.

“As human beings, we have evolved to give more importance to the figure, to all that is in the foreground, he says. I took all the time necessary to make sure I moved from the surface to what is found deeper and, as such, explored with the concept of hierarchy."

Jordan Broadworth appropriated a creative method that uses, almost systematically, a basic grid along with more or less dampened pigments that fit into a lattice he develops ever so patiently. He wipes the painting in several stages, leaving the paint more or less dry. This ultimately settles, as if through sedimentation, traces of each of its interventions. This brings out the background and produces oils on canvas or Mylar paper, which seem to belong to the same family. Yet, each have their own story. One would think the end result to be three-dimensional but on the contrary; the superimposed layers of paint are ultra-fine.

"Painting has always been a question of excess, says the 45-year-old artist. Excess in materials. Excess in emotion. I tried to work on absence and on deepening." This renders a tension when one looks at his work. A tension of passionate nature, much alike the one that accompanies the work of the binder, of the goldsmith or of the calligrapher. Broadworth’s way resembles that of the artisan looking, day after day, for the self-evident signification of the unique object he holds in his hands.

If the works have an obvious geometric basis, the addition of brushed lashes, oblique lines and the final interventions by the artist that involves covering the work, here and there, with dark and recycled paint, all leads the eye to perceive evocative and ghostly forms. With this ascetic technique that blends with time, the viewer ends up distinguishing – through movement and throbbing – inspiration from a populated place.

The artist confirms this: "every day I walk over the Queensboro Bridge to get to my studio. The steel bridge diagonal pillars as much as other elements of my everyday environment, like graffiti and tags, eventually finds its way into my work "

Following Montreal, Jordan Broadworth’s work will be presented until next spring at Hardware Contemporary in Toronto.

Jordan Broadworth – Paintings. Until October 12th 2013 at Galerie BAC.