Ginnie Gardiner is a New York artist who has shown in numerous solo and group exhibits for over 30 years. Gardiner graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1974. From 1978 to 2005 she lived in a Chelsea loft in New York City. In 2005 she moved upstate to Catskill, New York, where Gardiner enjoys a large, light filled studio and courtyard that has inspired her paintings, collages, montages and color studies.
Gardiner sites the American Modernists and the Bay Area Figurative Artists, with their reductive treatment of form and clarity of light, and the teachings of Josef Albers, as influences. Her working method since the mid 1990s’ has been to create equivalent color palettes from her collage and montage studies for translation into the medium of oil paint.
In 2018 Gardiner’s series titled “The Color Prophecies” was selected for a Solo Exhibition at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum in Woodstock, NY. This work was begun in September 2016. For the creation and design of these paintings Gardiner painted solid color mixtures on woodblock papers as backgrounds layered over with planar elements of isolated figural elements from her photographs. These mixed media collages functioned as the studies for her paintings.
Begun in 2018, the “Artifact Color Series”, represented an expansion on Gardiner’s painterly process and her ongoing studies involving the concept of ‘Phenomenal Transparency’, with opaque mixtures achieving the illusion of transparency in the medium of oil paint. This series, inspired by Josef Alber’s ‘Homage to the Square’ series, is created entirely with painted woodblock papers.
In 2019, Gardiner began her Interlusion Series, the mixing of two or more sensibilities of spatial and atmospheric relationships in two dimensions. It is a hybrid style adapted to capture transparency effects and multiple layers of colors and their interactions. It combines the Artifact Color Series oil on woodblock paper abstractions with tromp l’oeil paint handling in the interest of capturing subtle gradations of veils of color as they arc and flow over selected Artifact Color Seriescollages with varying degrees of transparency.
‘Where reductive formalism (“Greenberg”) would see an unresolved contradiction I see a synergistic interplay that gives both kinds of transparency more meaning and value than either would have in isolation. It’s an expansive interplay, which gives these works a large scale and landscape atmosphere.’
-Carter Ratcliff, 2019
‘Gardiner’s earliest uncollages fuse conceptually complex topics, but visually champion minimalist aesthetic, despite the amalgam of genera present in single work – abstraction, surrealism, pop art, photomontage, dechirage, trompe l’oiel. What holds together her elegant partnerships between form and content is an exquisite sense of light and color.’
-Todd Bartel – excerpt from ‘Before It’s an Uncollage’ – Kolaj Magazine, 2019
‘Nearly always, the formal structure—and space itself—is more compact in the collages than in the paintings. The collages, of course, are smaller and yet that is not the entire explanation, for the details of Gardiner’s images acquire a charge of condensed pictorial power from having been developed and refined in the more intimate medium. Transposed to canvas, her images gain not only in size but in scale. They feel larger, more open. Yet they lose none of the intimacy or the intensity bestowed on them by their origins.’
– Carter Ratcliff, 2018
‘Of course each artist has a distinctive way of unsettling our habits of seeing. With the sunlit stillness of her paintings, Gardiner seizes our attention and holds it with pictorial subtleties that show us, by stages, that stillness is not stasis. Presenting a precisely calibrated balance between figurative images and the harmonies of sheer form, each of her paintings oscillates between these two ways of seeing. Subliminal at first, this oscillation becomes conscious as we begin to see ourselves seeing. Encouraging us to be aware of how we make sense of the raw data of vision, Gardiner reminds us of our responsibility for the look – and the meaning – of our world.’
– Carter Ratcliff, 2015