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"Marilyn and I both trained during the abstract expressionism period, and both of us like figurative elements in our work. I guess you could call us figurative expressionists."
Painter Tran Gordley and his wife, artist Marilyn, view the visual world as a constant renewing stimulus for their work. Utilizing Marilyn's experience with the computer, Tran relied upon digitized images as source material for many of his paintings. Gordley received an M.F.A. from the University of Oklahoma and went on to attend Ohio State University and the University of North Carolina for doctoral studies. After, Gordley taught at the School of Art at East Carolina University from 1959 until 1992. His work is featured in the collections of East Carolina University, Greenville Museum of Art, and the University of Oklahoma.
One he retired from teaching, Gordley devoted himself to painting full-time. Gordley usually created large-scale oil paintings in his studio but would sometimes paint outside to capture the perfect landscape. When painting on location, Gordley used the natural elements to his advantage, oftentimes nailing canvases to trees.
Douglas Paschall, former Curator of Collections at the Woodmere Art Museum, praised Tran Gordley's Night Vigil, which won top prize at the annual members' exhibit in 2003. "It's quite sophisticated," Paschall said. "The childlike quality of the drawing is not an indication of lack of talent or skill, but in fact the artist's willful desire to draw on those childlike or primitive traditions in art for greater expression."
Tran Gordley. Image courtesy of the artist.
Education and Training
B.F.A. in Painting, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, 1956
M.F.A. in Painting, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, 1957
Doctoral Study, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1957-1958
Doctoral Study, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1964-1967
Teachers and Influences
Fred Conway, Werner Drewes, and Fred Becker
Connection to Bucks County
Tran Gordley lived with his wife, the artist Marilyn Gordley, in Plumstead Township, Bucks County.
Colleagues and Affiliations
Artists James Feehan and Susan Roseman
Major Solo Exhibitions
501 Garden Gallery, Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1970
Kate Lewis Gallery, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, 1974
Northern State College, Aberdeen, South Dakota, 1975
Major Two-Person Exhibitions
QLM Associates, Princeton, New Jersey, 1993
Stover Mill Gallery, Erwinna, Pennsylvania, 1994
Major Group Exhibitions
National Watercolor Show, Peoria, Illinois, 1961
First National Painting Exhibition, Miami, Florida, 1962
Watercolor USA, Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, Missouri, 1966, Traveling show 1966-1967
44th Annual, Butler Institute of Art, Youngstown, Ohio, 1980
WVAA Artsplosure, Raleigh, North Carolina, 1986, 1987, 1988
19th Annual Competition for NC Artists, Fayetteville Museum of Art, Fayette, North Carolina, 1991
Artsbridge, Prallsville Mills, Lambertville, New Jersey, 1995, 1996, 1997
Annual Members Exhibition, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997
The New Century, Second Floor Gallery, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1994
4th Annual New Century Exhibition, Old English Pine, Lambertville, New Jersey, 1997
Riverbank Arts, Stockton, New Jersey
First National Juried Exhibition at the Lancaster Museum of Art
Albany International Exhibition, Albany, New York
Madison Gallery, New York, New York
Razer Gallery, New York, New York
Members' Exhibit, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2003
Plus, many other state, regional, and national exhibitions
Burroughs Welcome Corporation
East Carolina University
Greenville Museum of Art
North Carolina Print and Drawing Society
University of Oklahoma
Teaching and Professional Appointments
Professor, School of Art, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, 1959-1992
Awards Committee, North Carolina Art Awards, Raleigh, North Carolina
Junior College Research Committee, National Association of Schools of Art and Design
North Carolina Artists' Portfolio, University of Essex, England, 1982
Purchase Award and Traveling Show Selection, North Carolina Print and Drawing Society, 1965-1966
Honorable Mention, WVAA Artsplosure, Raleigh, North Carolina, 1987, 1988
Scholarship established in the name of Marilyn and Tran Gordley, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, 1994
Award Winner, 4th Annual New Century Exhibition, Old English Pine, Lambertville, New Jersey, 1997
Award Winner, Members' Exhibit, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2003
Affiliations and Memberships
Doylestown Art Center
National Association of Schools of Art and Design
Woodmere Art Museum
In the Garden
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