Press Release

The Columbia Museum of Art Presents Show by Orangeburg Artist Floyd Gordon

Public Reception and Book Signing: Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Columbia, SC - The Columbia Museum of Art and the Friends of African American Art and Culture (FAAAC) present, Reflections: People and Places-The Art of Floyd Gordon, an installation of 10 works by the critically acclaimed artist on view from January 13 through February 9, 2014. For six decades, Gordon has captured the customs, culture, history, and traditions of people largely of the South. While he pays homage to farmers and crop growers in many of his works, Gordon equally lifts up musicians and performing artists in his jazz series.

Floyd Gordon, the son of a sharecropper and one of 13 children, is hailed as one of South Carolina's treasures. His vivid, dazzling watercolors and potent acrylics, produced in his Unique Gallery and Frame Shop in Orangeburg, S.C., unfold like a history lesson and reveal the personalities of his subjects. "I want my paintings to have meaning to all people who see them and enjoy them," says Gordon. "I think you will agree that my art celebrates the unforgettable heritage, history, and culture that we have all experienced."

His gallery is as much a museum of Southern culture as it is a building that houses Gordon's paintings. Among his current works is a large canvas filled with brilliant reds and oranges. At first glance, it appears to be a young woman hanging out laundry and dreaming of her life. However, a closer inspection reveals that the young woman is admiring two quilts that tell a detailed story of changes in the rural South.

"We are very excited to present the work of this artist in 2014," says Luther J. Battiste III, CMA board president. "Gordon's paintings bring to life the story of the South through color and a keen vision. His ability to capture the feeling and life of his subject matter is remarkable. The CMA is proud to honor his lengthy career with this show."

Gordon says to paint a picture, he has to visualize it. "I keep adding colors and details until it looks good to me," he says. "If it's not right to me, it won't be right to anyone else. I paint pictures that I like, and if I do them right, other people will like them, too."

Please join FAAAC in the celebration of the installation and Gordon's recently published book, The Unique Art of Floyd Gordon, with a reception and book signing at the Museum on January 21 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The book is itself a work of art. It contains 368 richly illustrated pages with gilded edges and an eight-page gatefold that reveals several nearly 2-foot-long paintings. The large, leather-bound volume with a protective slipcase-published by Cecil Williams Photography/Publishing of Orangeburg-includes the artist's commentary about the inspirations for many of his paintings. Gordon will be on hand to sell and sign copies of the limited-edition book for $175. The reception is free and open to the public.


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