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Souvenirs from the Waste Land

By Alastair Gordon Panel Discussion, Concert, and Exhibition Opening


Saturday, 11 March 2017 – Ahmanson Gallery, Irvine

The Ahmanson Gallery celebrated the opening of “Souvenirs from the Waste Land,” an exhibition of work by Scottish artist, Alastair Gordon.  The afternoon began with a panel discussion of contemporary art, followed by a concert by Glasgow-based jazz pianist Euan Stevenson, and reception in the Ahmanson Gallery.

Dan Siedell, a specialist in modern art history, criticism, and theory, moderated the panel discussion, “Contemporary Painting: Alternate Illusion?” Siedell, Presidential Scholar & Art Historian in Residence at The King’s College in New York City, was joined by Juan Bolivar, a London based artist curator, and lecturer at University of the Arts, London; artist Alastair Gordon, ( co-founder of the Morphe Arts Trust (; Kurt Mueller, director at David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, ( where he focuses on institutional and media relationships; Annie Lapin, a Los Angeles-based painter who is represented by Honor Fraser (, and Karen David, a London-based artist and writer (

Following the panel discussion, Euan Stevenson (, an award winning Scottish pianist and composer, who works in jazz, classical, and pop fields, treated the audience of 175 to an intimate concert featuring classical jazz favorites. The charming performer was so well-received that the Ahmanson Gallery will be bringing him back in the fall for another performance!

The evening culminated with a reception in the gallery featuring Alastair Gordon’s trompe l‘oeil show, Souvenirs from the Waste Land. Gordon employs a particular form of trompe l’oeil called quodlibet, or “that which is pleasing” in Latin. Quolibet is a “mashup” in which familiar items, typically ephemera like letters, photos, and in this case, postcards, are artistically arranged, often with more profound meaning than the original and individual items intended. The show includes 18 new paintings inspired by collectors Howard and Roberta Ahmanson’s extensive private postcard collection. Gordon often uses postcards as source material and in this case was granted access to the Ahmansons’ cataloged database of over 18,000 postcards collected from their travels around the world.

“Souvenirs from the Waste Land” will run through September 15 and is open to the public during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Reservations are required. For more information or to request a visit to the gallery, please contact us through the contact form at the bottom of the page.

Quote to highlight:

UK artist Alastair Gordon’s paintings “are made with the sophistication of trompe l’oeil and the arguments of the post- medium condition, but the naughtiness of a school boy who has scratched his name on a school desk to leave his mark on history. These paintings are testament to his faith in images to be transformative instruments, underpinned by the story of art.”

Juan Bolivar

Artist, curator, lecturer – University of the Arts, London


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