Ron Gorchov was born on April 5, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois. His mother, a painter, encouraged his interest in art, and at the age of 14 he began to take Saturday classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1947, he enrolled at the University of Mississippi but left after his freshman year and returned to Chicago, where he enrolled at Roosevelt College and took night classes at the Art Institute. He concluded his formal education at the University of Illinois in Urbana.
Moving to New York City in 1953, Gorchov supported himself as a lifeguard and, in 1956, he met the Russian-American artist John D. Graham, who became an important mentor. He had his first solo exhibition in 1960, at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, and in 1967, the year following his third and final show there, he created his first “saddle” painting, a curved surface that he would pursue in countless variations throughout his career.
Although Gorchov exhibited regularly in galleries such as Barbara Gladstone, Marlborough, and Jack Tilton, as well as two Whitney Biennials (1975 and 1977) and the influential group show, Language, Drama, Source and Vision, at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, his work became more widely known after a pair of noteworthy solo exhibitions, in 2005 at Vito Schnabel Gallery, and in 2006 at MoMA PS1. He has been represented by Cheim & Read since 2012.
Gorchov’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Guggenheim Museum, all in New York; the Detroit Institute of Art; the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, among other institutions. The artist has also exhibited at MoMA PS1, the Queens Museum of Art, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, all in New York; the Centro Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas, Spain; Galerie Jean-Luc & Takako Richard, Paris, France; and elsewhere. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York