In James Gortners paintings, his personal conflicts, moods, and dreams combine with other peoples stories and magical myths of the past and present. Gortners singular identity as an artist is rooted in technical and creative freedom, flexibility and agility of vision. His points of reference range from large-scale History Painting and Contemporary Abstraction, to experiential painting and conceptual art. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Gortners paintings lean into sculpture, reference photography, and involve circumstances and processes akin to performance. He usually incorporates into his paintings reclaimed wood and sustainable materials, as well as paints on layers of reclaimed paintings, adding physical texture and tension that only enhances the dynamic storytelling at play. Gortner intends his paintings to be vehicles for contemplation of the environment, ones identity, interconnectedness, and transformation.
Painter James Gortner received his B.A. from Hawaii Pacific University and his MFA from Columbia University. Gortners work has been exhibited at The Fisher Landau Center for The Arts (New York), Mana Contemporary (New Jersey), San Bernardino County Museum (California), RW Norton Art Gallery (Louisiana), The LeRoy Neiman Gallery (New York), Lyons Wier Gallery (New York), Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery (Connecticut), and Dittrich & Schlichtum Gallery (Berlin). His work has been featured in print in New American Paintings (North East Edition), New American Art Collector Magazine, Mens Journal, and the Berliner, among other publications. His artwork is included in the collection of the Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation, Jimenez-Colon Collection, and the Wooster Collective as well as the private collection of President Jiang Zemin of China and actress Reese Witherspoon, among others. James Gortner lives in New York and works from his studio at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, NJ.