Studio 21 is honoured to exhibit a selection of fourteen paintings from David Sorensen’s Horizon series, dated 2004 to 2010. We are grateful to Bella and Verona Sorensen for the
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 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.
“This series of paintings he worked on until fall 2010, a few months before his death…attest to his commitment to the practice of an abstract art nurtured by his unfailing attachment to nature. At the core of his Horizon Series, the abstract/ figurative dichotomy quietly plays out, free of its own definitions, and is time and again challenged, time and again renewed.”
Sandra Grant Marchand,“The Ultimate Horizon”, catalogue on the occasion of an exhibition at McClure Gallery, Montreal, 2012.
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 exhibitedlarge 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.