Rachael Gorchov, Rock Cloud, 2017

Rachael Gorchov, Rock Cloud, 2017, glazed ceramic in two parts with digitally printed vinyl, 13 x 47 x 18 in.

Rachael Gorchov makes inspired, idiosyncratic, curved objects. Oculus iii and Rock Cloud are the fruit of Gorchov’s break with painting from photographs, which made her flatten form and enforced an equal focus on all parts of a composition. She began making drawings of landscapes as seen through Claude glass, or a convex black mirror that skews what it reflects, creating extremely curved perspectives. Attracted to centralized forms—rocks, clouds, and topiaries—because they have similar silhouettes but different properties, she started drawing them separately from the greater landscape and attaching attendant shadows to mark depth. Excised from nature, humorous, awkward, and modest, both the sculptures and their shadows are painted with abstract, brightly colored brushstrokes.

Rock Cloud is bizarre: two positive shapes hover on one abstractly painted shadow that does not logically connect to the forms. The piece is troubling, as it appears natural but obviously is not. Derived from photography and translated through drawing, painting, and sculpture, the individual components jettison important pieces of information by stages. Hell-bent on its own stubborn path, all the aspects of Rock Cloud make a good case for rebellion.

Part of Passing Bittersweet, a 2020 exhibition at the Williams Center Gallery. Find more of Rachael Gorchov’s work on her website.