In discussing his work, Sorensen has referred to the notion of the horizon as “friendly”: it is what grounds our view and intervenes in what would otherwise be the vertigo of enormous and incomprehensible space. The horizontal line is also an entry point to the spatial structure of the abstract surface.
These paintings from the Horizon series could be described as abstract landscape; but that is not Sorensen’s preferred language. As he said in the last interview before his death, his search was for a creative space that would “give voice to…the inner reality” (David Sorensen reviewed by Mary Ann Colihan, August 19,2010).
Sorensen’s search was also to find transparency in the layers of oil on canvas.
So, the skin of the paintings depicts strata of colour arranged horizontally in a chromatic structure, while the material itself is also thickly stratified.
Beyond this, there is pure beauty. David Sorensen’s use of colour, texture, light, and gesture make for the sublime.
Born in Vancouver in 1937, David Sorensen first studied architecture with Arthur Erickson and then returned to study at the Vancouver School of Art with Jack Shadbolt and sculptor Bill Reid. Shadbolt invited the renowned American art critic Clement Greenberg to the school to discuss abstract art. These discussions along with an earlier trip to Europe to see the Abstract Expressionist paintings of Rothko, deKooning, Pollock and Kline influenced Sorensen’s decision to become a full-time artist. In 1962 he visited Mexico, where he had his first solo exhibition in Mexico City in 1964. Sorensen was attracted to the work of Quebec artists Jean-Paul Riopelle and Armand Vaillancourt and moved to Montreal where he taught, painted and exhibited frequently. Sorensen taught visual art at Bishop’s University from 1981-2000.
Over Sorensen’s long career he had countless exhibitions across Canada and has shown his work in Switzerland, France, Italy, Japan, China and the US. In 2005, the Musee du Bas Saint-Laurent in Riviere-du-Loup, QC curated a 45 year retrospective of Sorensen’s work. In 2007 (and 2010) Sorensen exhibited large works at the Mexican Embassy Gallery ‘Espacio Mexico’ in Montreal and had paintings from his Horizon Series sent on a tour of museums and cultural centers throughout Mexico. Most recently in 2012, the McClure Gallery in Montreal curated “The Ultimate Horizon,” an exhibition that featured David’s final paintings.
In Halifax, as in other communities, there are a number of commercial art galleries. It often is not understood that there are businesses that exist in the context of the visual arts. This is more of a familiar idea in music, film, publishing, etc. As commercial art galleries, we work principally with professional, contemporary artists…Read More
A selection of paintings to celebrate the late David Sorensen’s 80th birthday, and new sail works and paintings by Ontario-based NSCAD graduate James Kirkpatrick are the subject of the next exhibition at Studio 21, running from April 28 through to June 7, 2017. David Sorensen’s paintings could be described as abstract landscape; but that is not…Read More
Studio 21 returned last week from Art Wynwood, an art fair in Miami. We exhibited six artists and sold pieces by Alex Livingston, David Sorensen and Jean-Sebastien Denis. In November, we were in Chicago at a fair called SOFA and in October it was Art Toronto. Attending art fairs is a way to find new…Read More