Light Before Heat

April Gornik1984

Parrish Art Museum

Parrish Art Museum
Water Mill, United States

The paintings of April Gornik may have visual antecedents in the atmospheric vistas of the German Romantics and the shimmering landscapes of the American Luminists, but they do not confine themselves to looking at the past. Though not tethered to a specific time or setting, her work manages to convey an uncanny sense of place.

In Light Before Heat, a peninsula of green bisects the canvas laterally; the sky is mirrored in the water, effectively twinning the pink-and-blue-streaked sky. Three rocks protrude from the water. While the temptation to anthropomorphize them is strong, they remain rocks. We may intellectually perceive this as a fictive landscape, yet we are utterly convinced that these rocks, ancient as the earth, exist.


  • Title: Light Before Heat
  • Creator: April Gornik
  • Date Created: 1984
  • Location: New Haven
  • Physical Dimensions: 66 x 132 inches
  • Rights: The Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY, Gift of Jeanette Sarkisian Wagner
  • External Link: Light Before Heat, 1983
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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