The Washington Post on KATHERINE TZU-LAN MANN at the Kreeger Museum

16 Apr

Museums

The Kreeger Museum has reopened, with an art exhibition that probes the vestiges of the past

An installation view of the exhibition “Traces” at the Kreeger Museum: Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann’s “Salamander Room,” background, covers part of two walls. In the foreground are two sculptural works by Roxana Alger Geffen: “Slumped Coil,” left, and “The Cloak of Unfair Advantage.” (Greg Staley/Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann and Roxana Alger Geffen)

By Mark Jenkins

April 13, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.

The title of the exhibition “Traces” at the newly reopened Kreeger Museum suggests a collection of wisps and glimmers. In fact, the group show — originally scheduled for the fall, but delayed because of the museum’s pandemic closure — features many works that are large enough to overwhelm and even immerse, and enough of them to fill three galleries and spill onto a staircase and the lawn. Yet the pieces can be said to be traces in one sense: They contain vestiges of natural, personal and cultural history.

Aside from hailing from D.C. or nearby, the eight artists seem to share little. Their media range from painting and sculpture to video and sound, all practiced in a distinctive manner. The similarities among their work are less visual than conceptual, as curator Sarah Tanguy teases out in her essay about the collection. The artists’ “use of juxtaposition and overlap creates dramatic tension,” she writes.

The overlapping can be as anarchic as in Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann’s “Salamander Room,” a mixed-media work — part drawing, part painting — that covers one wall and part of an adjacent one, and sprawls from large sheets of paper onto the wall itself. Or it can be as tidy as in Johab Silva’s “Point A to Point B and to Point A Again,” which repeats just those two letters, in contrasting colors, across four sets of sandwiched clear-plastic panels. Where Tzu-Lan Mann’s mural was inspired partly by millennia-old Buddhist cave paintings in western China, Silva’s A’s and B’s have the bright, clean look of mid-20th century American commerce — and the pop art that both mocked and celebrated it.

Image without a caption
Rania Hassan’s “Liminality” is suspended in the Kreeger Museum’s stairwell. (Greg Staley/Rania Hassan)

The junglelike tendrils of Tzu-Lan Mann’s piece lead, symbolically if not actually, to a separate room where Brandon Morse’s computer animation sends tree branches hurtling toward the viewer. “Ambient Distress in the Thicket” is an algorithm-generated environment in which a monochromatic forest thrives and decays. It’s both an ecological alert and a visual metaphor for generative systems.

Nature motifs can take the form of the spider-like web, simultaneously delicate and imposing, that Rania Hassan has installed above the stairs that lead to the show’s basement galleries. Organic materials feature in Roxana Alger Geffen’s elaborate assemblages, although they rely more on man-made domestic objects, including clothing and furniture. Sunlight powers Billy Friebele’s “Nero Plays a Fiddle,” an outdoor sculpture made of industrial parts; its two sound-generating bits are wired to solar panels. Even Sebastian Martorana’s marble sculptures — neoclassical in technique, if not subject matter — pack an environmental message, because they’re often hewed from salvaged marble.

Martorana’s gambit is to carve soft things, with exquisite realism, from hard stone. The selection here includes gloves, draped fabric and stuffed animals, notably a seemingly well-worn bear. The Teddy is not merely a sculptor’s whimsy. Titled “Permanent Separation Anxiety,” the toy embodies the artist’s objection to the U.S. government policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the Mexican border.

That’s the show’s most up-to-date political statement but not its only one. Antonio McAfee made 3-D versions of formal photographic portraits — designed to be viewed through 1950s-style red/green glasses — that were originally compiled by W.E.B. Du Bois for a sociological exhibit of “American Negroes” at the 1900 Paris Exposition. The goal is to give the dignified historical personages “multitudes of possibilities, real and imagined,” McAfee’s statement explains. His project parallels Geffen’s, as her work “examines my family and its complicated, contradictory relationship to privilege, race and class,” according to her artist statement.

Silva’s A-to-B panels are autobiographical in their own way; they were inspired by musings on how he got to his current place in life. There’s also a history, though not a personal one, to Friebele’s contributions, which include a series of four drawings of circular patterns. These and the outdoor sculpture are very different in form, yet they have a common inspiration: a 1671 drawing of sound waves amplified from a speaking trumpet.

Friebele’s circles are etched in black ink atop mirrors, whose reflective surfaces complement the glossiness of Silva and McAfee’s nearby work. Yet the drawings themselves, and the frames of the mirrors, are funkier. Such irregularities reveal how an artist, even one whose work is machine-tooled, can leave traces of the human hand.

If you go

Traces

Kreeger Museum, 2401 Foxhall Rd. NW. kreegermuseum.org.

Dates: Through May 29.

Admission: Admission is by suggested donation of $10; $8 for students and seniors; free for members. Timed-entry passes, good for one 50-minute session limited to 15 visitors, are required. Masks are required for visitors ages 4 and older.

Click HERE to view available artwork by KATHERINE TZU-LAN MANN

ADIA MILLETT interviewed in Interlocutor

9 Apr

INTERLOCUTOR

Apr 8

ADIA MILLETT

Visual Artists

“The Moon is Always   Full” exhibition view at Morton Fine Art in Washington DC - photo courtesy of Jarrett Hendrix
“The Moon is AlwaysFull” exhibition view at Morton Fine Art in Washington DC – photo courtesy of Jarrett Hendrix

Adia Millett, originally from Los Angeles, California received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. In 2001, she moved to New York City for the prestigious Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, followed by the Studio Museum in Harlem residency program. Millett has been a standout in numerous group exhibitions including the well-received “Greater New York” show at PS1 in Long Island City, New York and “Freestyle” at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Barbican Gallery in London; The Craft and Folk Museum in LA; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta; The Santa Monica Museum of Art; and The Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans. Millett has taught as an artist in residence at Columbia College in Chicago, UC Santa Cruz, Cooper Union in NY, and California College of the Arts. Millett currently lives and works in Oakland.

In this interview, she discusses the recent work currently on display for her solo show “The Moon is Always Full” up through April 22 at Morton Fine Art in Washington DC.

Interview by Isabel Hou

You currently have an exhibit at Morton Fine Art in Washington D.C. titled “The Moon is Always Full.” In particular, the titles of your textile works, Gold Moon and Black Moon, caught my eye. What is their significance relative to the exhibition?

Gold Moon and Black Moon were actually part of an older piece titled Beneath You. I cut that piece apart (something I often do). Structurally I wanted to take the square grid apart and construct something more organic. The process felt like I was channeling the moon as she gave birth to the embryo forms, Black Moon and Gold Moon.

Gold Moon , 2019 - 30.5 x 30.5 in - Cotton, upholstery fabric and silk
Gold Moon, 2019 – 30.5 x 30.5 in – Cotton, upholstery fabric and silk
Black Moon , 2019 - 30.5 x 30.5 in - Cotton, upholstery fabric and silk
Black Moon, 2019 – 30.5 x 30.5 in – Cotton, upholstery fabric and silk

The pieces in your exhibition are constructed with fragments “to fashion a meaning greater than its individual elements.” (Morton Fine Art, 2021) Quilt-making may be considered an act of fragmentation and construction. Was this textile medium the source of your interest in identity and collective history? Or rather, did your interest lead you to the medium?

I think our cultural histories are imbued with a foundation of craft, of distilling who we are in handmade creative objects. Here, quilting pays homage to that process while redefining how it’s used.  Identity, psychology, spirituality, nature are all reflected in my choices to challenge our visual understanding of who we are.

Your past exhibitions have been named “Infinite Edges” (Traywick Contemporary, 2019), “Breaking Patterns” (California African American Museum, 2019), and “A Matter of Time” (Galerie du Monde, 2020-21). Where does “The Moon is Always Full” fit in with them?

I write poetry and all my titles have or will eventually become the title of something I write. What all of these titles attempt to do is be broad enough that they can refer to a collective societal expansion, while simultaneously asking the viewer to examine how the title can apply to their own personal life.

There is this bright, geometric overlap and underlap in both Portal and Reflection. How do these pieces and their layered compositions contribute to the theme of your exhibition?

It’s a recognition of literal and metaphorical perspectives. We perceive shapes and colors as an indication of 3-dimensional space. The work is examining our desire to make meaning out of abstraction.

Portal,  2018 - 24 x 24 in - Acrylic on wood
Portal, 2018 – 24 x 24 in – Acrylic on wood
Reflection , 2020 - 48 x 60 in - Acrylic on wood
Reflection, 2020 – 48 x 60 in – Acrylic on wood

In the past, you have engaged with concepts of perception, perspective, and time, and have stated that your work “pays homage to the past,” but is “informed by the future.” (Morton Fine Art, 2021). Is this a concept that you find present in your own life? Or is it a commentary on something larger?

I think every artist’s work is a reflection of their lives, so our cultural pasts, our relationship to beauty, resilience, death, community, and so many other topics find their way into my work and hopefully into the minds of anyone interested in art.

You have attributed African American experiences as a source of inspiration. Can you expound on what aspects of your work pay homage to these experiences? And what do you hope to convey through these manifestations?

I am an African American. My work is inspired by my lived experience. What I hope to convey is the value of self-reflection.

Gold Roof,  2019 - 40 x 30 in - Acrylic, gold leaf and plastic on wood panel
Gold Roof, 2019 – 40 x 30 in – Acrylic, gold leaf and plastic on wood panel

What really stands out to me within your work is the dichotomy between geometry and fluidity. The bold colors and patterns in your pieces seem so free and fluid. Yet, much of your work includes neat, geometric lines and shapes. What do you hope to convey between this contrast? Or rather, do you view these elements as complementary?

It’s really great to hear that you see the patterns and colors as free and fluid. Part of my process when I am making anything is to embrace contradictions. The places where we believe things or people don’t belong together are where beauty resides.

XY Shield,  2019 - 42 x 42 in - Indigo dyed cotton, upholstery fabric, cotton and silk
XY Shield, 2019 – 42 x 42 in – Indigo dyed cotton, upholstery fabric, cotton and silk

On your site, you write that your work aims to remind viewers of the “importance of renewal and rebuilding […] through the possibility of transformative change.” Has the ever-evolving nature of identity and the human experience always been so important to you?

I don’t know. I do know that many creative people like myself grow up feeling like aliens, different than the people around them. I think that experience as a child has the ability to spark the drive to fight convention and redefine the identities that have been projected on us.

Who, or what inspires you?

Everything inspires me. Humans, nature, science fiction, music, grief, love, history, emotions, color, moments when we take risks.

OWF,  2019 - 37 x 74 in - Found fabric, wool, cotton and batton
OWF, 2019 – 37 x 74 in – Found fabric, wool, cotton and batton

As we live through a pandemic, have you thought about how the art world will change in the years to come? Do you foresee your work changing in response to this crisis?

Yes, the art world is definitely changing. Amongst other things, the pandemic has certainly woken us up. It has impacted my work, but more importantly, it has raised my desire to support other artists, to collaborate, to bring awareness to social justice issues around racism, patriarchy, prison incarceration, and the growing homeless population. I am more driven than ever to make work that is built around empathy and respect for each other and our collective consciousness. 

“The Moon is Always Full” is on display through April 22 at Morton Fine Art in Washington DC.

Click HERE to read the Interlocutor article in full.

Available Artwork by ADIA MILLETT

ADIA MILLETT reviewed in The Washington Post

7 Apr
By Mark Jenkins
April 2, 2021 at 7:00 a.m. EDT

“Reflection” (2020) by Adia Millett. 60″x48″, acrylic on panel. (Morton Fine Art)Artwork

Adia Millett

Adia Millet’s show at Morton Fine Art is divided into fabric pieces and paintings, but the two categories overlap in theme and appearance. Almost all of the works include one or more circles that represent the heavenly body invoked in the exhibition’s title, “The Moon Is Always Full.” And two of the paintings arrange scraps of color as if they were pieces of material.

Millett often begins by disassembling cloth items, with the idea of symbolically reconstructing African American experience and identity. (She also tweaks White outlooks in the show’s least colorful and only circle-less entry, “OWF,” which stands for “off-white fragility.”) The California artist has a strong sense of form but little apparent interest in sheer abstraction. “Gold Roof” is little more than a triangle, a circle and several rectangles, but these elements are transmuted into a house under a full-moon sky by deft composition and the insertion of two 3-D model windows.

Just as streamlined are “Reflection,” a landscape-like picture that seems to be as much stitched as painted, and “Portal,” in which a blue round resembles the moon behind striated clouds, but also a cell or an egg. Any of those possibilities are apt, since Millett’s essential concerns include renewal and regeneration.

Adia Millett: The Moon Is Always Full Through April 22 at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St. NW, No. 302.

Available Artwork by ADIA MILLETT

USA / Plasticienne / Adia Millett / QUADRATURE ORANGE ET PASSAGE NUAGEUX

1 Apr

Zo Mag’ complete article

Publié le  par kalmos58

Dans ses précédentes réalisations, Adia Millett ouvrait déjà de singuliers paysages. Il arrive que l’artiste prenne le parti-pris de relire les éléments constitutifs. Par exemple elle se débarrasse de ce qui est compliqué dans la forme. Une montagne se réduit à un simple triangle. Une forêt se compose de sphères qui s’imbriquent les unes dans les autres. La réalité nouvelle est forcément singulière. Mais si l’on y réfléchit de plus près, pas certain qu’un insecte voit l’herbe qu’il a devant lui de la même façon qu’une caméra à infrarouge ou un enregistreur phonique. La réalité est fluctuante. Et ce sont ces fluctuations qu’Adia Millet traduit.

« The Moon is always full » participe à ce jeu de construction et de déconstruction. Millett démonte les choses (et les idées), elle enlève, elle déplace, elle raccommode et livre ainsi des histoires en mutation. « La lune est toujours pleine » par exemple, figée dans un cosmos de couleur incertaine, qui hésite entre les saisons, les époques, les appartenances qui ont été et ne seront plus.

Artwork

Millett démonte les choses (et les idées), elle enlève, elle déplace, elle raccommode et livre ainsi des histoires en mutation.

« 𝘔𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘷𝘢𝘪𝘭 𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘢𝘶 𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘦́ 𝘱𝘢𝘳 𝘭’𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘥𝘦 𝘵𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘶𝘴 𝘳𝘦́𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘦́𝘴 𝘦𝘵 𝘥’𝘪𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘩𝘪𝘦 𝘩𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘲𝘶𝘦. 𝘔𝘢𝘪𝘴 𝘥𝘢𝘯𝘴 𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘦, 𝘪𝘭 𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘦́ 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘭’𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘪𝘳 𝘦𝘵 𝘴’𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘦 », dit-elle. « 𝘊𝘦𝘭𝘢 𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘦 𝘭’𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘥𝘶 𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘷𝘦𝘢𝘶 𝘦𝘵 𝘥𝘦 𝘭𝘢 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘯𝘰𝘯 𝘴𝘦𝘶𝘭𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘱𝘢𝘳 𝘭𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘶𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘲𝘶𝘦, 𝘮𝘢𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘴𝘪 𝘱𝘢𝘳 𝘭𝘢 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘦́ 𝘥’𝘶𝘯 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘶𝘳. »

Originaire de Los Angeles, l’artiste a suivi de multiples formations, comme le prestigieux Whitney Museum Independent Study Program (2001), et un programme de résidence au Museum in Harlem. Ses travaux ont été depuis montrés dans de nombreux lieux comme les musées d’art d’Atlanta, de Chicago, d’Harlem ou de la Nouvelle-Orléans et de Santa Monica. Dans nombre de ces lieux, elle a également enseigné, comme artiste résidente. « La Lune » marque en fait une autre étape importante de son travail. Le satellite, selon des nouvelles dispositions, resterait à une place apparemment définitive. A l’inverse, l’ombre humaine pourrait changer pas de taille et de matière.

« The moon is always full », jusqu’au 22 avril.
RC (ZO mag’)
Photos: DR et Morton Fine Art.
https://www.mortonfineart.com/artist/adia-millett

Partager :

ZO mag'

Dans ses précédentes réalisations, Adia Millett ouvrait déjà de singuliers paysages. Il arrive que l’artiste prenne le parti-pris de relire les éléments constitutifs. Par exemple elle se débarrasse de ce qui est compliqué dans la forme. Une montagne se réduit à un simple triangle. Une forêt se compose de sphères qui s’imbriquent les unes dans les autres. La réalité nouvelle est forcément singulière. Mais si l’on y réfléchit de plus près, pas certain qu’un insecte voit l’herbe qu’il a devant lui de la même façon qu’une caméra à infrarouge ou un enregistreur phonique. La réalité est fluctuante. Et ce sont ces fluctuations qu’Adia Millet traduit.

“The Moon is always full” participe à ce jeu de construction et de déconstruction. Millett démonte les choses (et les idées), elle enlève, elle déplace, elle raccommode et livre ainsi des histoires en mutation. “La lune est toujours pleine” par exemple, figée dans un cosmos…

View original post 218 more words

3 Questions Digital Series with AMBER ROBLES-GORDON – U.S. Department of State / Art in Embassies

30 Mar

Amber Robles-Gordon is a Puerto Rican-born, mixed media visual artist based in Washington, DC. Known for recontextualizing non-traditional materials, her assemblages, large sculptures, installations, and public artwork, in order to emphasize the essentialness of spirituality and temporality within life. Driven by the need to construct her own distinctive path, innovate, and challenge social norms, her artwork is unconventional and non-formulaic. Her creations are representational of her personal experiences and the paradoxes within the imbalance of masculine and feminine energies with our society.

Ultimately, the intention is to examine the parallels between how humanity perceives its greatest resources, men, and women versus how we treat our possessions and environment.

For over five decades, Art in Embassies (AIE) has played a leading role in U.S. public diplomacy through a focused mission of vital cross-cultural dialogue and understanding through the visual arts and dynamic artist exchange. The Museum of Modern Art first envisioned this global visual arts program in 1953, and President John F. Kennedy formalized it at the U.S. Department of State in 1963. Today, Art in Embassies is an official visual arts office within the U.S. Department of State, engaging over 20,000 participants globally, including artists, museums, galleries, universities, and private collectors. It encompasses over 200 venues in 189 countries.

Professional curators and registrars create and ship about 60 exhibitions per year, and since 2000, over 70 permanent collections have been installed in the Department’s diplomatic facilities throughout the world. Art in Embassies fosters U.S. relations within local communities world-wide – in the last decade, more than 100 artists have traveled to countries participating in AIE’s exchange programs and collaborated with local artists to produce works now on display in embassies and consulates. Going forward, AIE will continue to engage, educate, and inspire global audiences, showing how art can transcend national borders and build connections among peoples.

Available artwork by AMBER ROBLES-GORDON

Morton Fine Art

52 O St NW #302

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787 (call or text)

info@mortonfineart.com

mortonfineart.com

ADIA MILLETT’s solo exhibition “The Moon is Always Full” at Morton Fine Art in DC

29 Mar

Showcasing a range of paintings and textiles by California-based artist ADIA MILLETT, The Moon Is Always Full investigates a cosmic utopia where the moral and metaphysical intermingle and converge.

Portal, 2018, 24″x24″, acrylic on panel

The Moon Is Always Full

A solo exhibition of paintings & textile artwork by ADIA MILLETT

March 25 – April 22, 2021

Contact the gallery for private viewing appointment, price list, additional information and acquisition.

(202) 628-2787 (call or text)

info@mortonfineart.com


Available artwork by ADIA MILLETT

About The Moon Is Always Full
Weaving threads of African American experiences with broader ideas of identity, and collective history, my work investigates the fragile interconnectivity among all living things. Fragmented, constructed, and reassembled, I shed light on the multifaceted and complex parallels between the creative process and the nature of personal identity. My paintings feature abstracted, geometric shapes that imply movement – colorful forms expand and collapse freely among glittery backgrounds with hints of landscape and structural objects such as rooftops, windows and doors. While the textiles draw on the domestic and artistic traditions of quilt-making, they are pieced together, combining culturally diverse fabrics. While my work pays homage to the past through the use of repurposed fabrics and historical iconography, its bright atheistic imagery is informed by the future. The art reminds us of the importance of renewal and rebuilding, not only through the artistic process, but also through the possibility of transformative change. – ADIA MILLETT

Using a range of process-oriented techniques, Millett takes things apart, removes, replaces, cuts, pastes, sews, and rebuilds to discover the space where transitions occur and where stories of impermanence unfold. Her work weaves together threads of Black American experiences with broader ideas of identity and collective history, suggesting the fragile interconnectivity among all living things. Constructing works assembled from vibrant and textured fragments to fashion a meaning greater than its individual elements, Millett illuminates the multidimensional parallels between the creative process and the nature of personal identity.

ADIA MILLETT, originally from Los Angeles, California received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. In 2001, she moved to New York City for the prestigious Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, followed by the Studio Museum in Harlem residency program. Millett has been a standout in numerous group exhibitions including the well-received “Greater New York” show at PS1 in Long Island City, New York and “Freestyle” at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Barbican Gallery in London; The Craft and Folk Museum in LA; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta; The Santa Monica Museum of Art; and The Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans. Millett has taught as an artist in residence at Columbia College in Chicago, UC Santa Cruz, Cooper Union in NY, and California College of the Arts. Millett currently lives and works in Oakland. She has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2020.
About Morton Fine Art

Founded in 2010 in Washington, DC by curator Amy Morton, Morton Fine Art (MFA) is a fine art gallery and curatorial group that collaborates with art collectors and visual artists to inspire fresh ways of acquiring contemporary art. Firmly committed to the belief that art collecting can be cultivated through an educational stance, MFA’s mission is to provide accessibility to museum-quality contemporary art through a combination of substantive exhibitions and a welcoming platform for dialogue and exchange of original voice. Morton Fine Art specializes in a stellar roster of nationally and internationally renowned artists as well as has an additional focus on artwork of the African Diaspora.

Morton Fine Art
52 O St NW #302
Washington, DC 20001

COVID-19 protocol: By appointment. Mask required. Contact the gallery for supplementary artwork documentation such as detail images and short videos. Safe, no contact door to door delivery available. Shipping nationally and internationally.

3 Questions Digital Series with OSI AUDU – U.S. Department of State / Art in Embassies

27 Mar

I explore the light sheen of graphite, the matte, light absorbing quality of black pastel, the white of paper and canvas, as well as the visually affecting interactions of colors to investigate form and its evocative potential to suggest or hint at something about the shape of the head. I am interested in the dualism of form and void, and the ontological relation between the tangible and intangible, something and nothing, light and dark, body and mind, the dual nature of being – the self in portraits.

The construction of a sense of self is a very complex process, perhaps even more so in our increasingly global age, in which the boundaries between race, nationality, gender and sexuality are getting more and more blurred. I am interested in issues of self identity, and in concepts of the self rooted in my cultural experiences growing up in Nigeria, as well as global metaphysical, scientific, and social concepts of the self. There is a Yoruba thought that consciousness, referred to as the “head”, has both a physical dimension called the “outer head” and a non-physical one: “the inner head”. It is the visual implications of concepts like this that I find intriguing. The title, Self-Portrait, in my work, is more about the portrait of the intangible self, rather than a literal portrait of the artist. – OSI AUDU

For over five decades, Art in Embassies (AIE) has played a leading role in U.S. public diplomacy through a focused mission of vital cross-cultural dialogue and understanding through the visual arts and dynamic artist exchange. The Museum of Modern Art first envisioned this global visual arts program in 1953, and President John F. Kennedy formalized it at the U.S. Department of State in 1963. Today, Art in Embassies is an official visual arts office within the U.S. Department of State, engaging over 20,000 participants globally, including artists, museums, galleries, universities, and private collectors. It encompasses over 200 venues in 189 countries. Professional curators and registrars create and ship about 60 exhibitions per year, and since 2000, over 70 permanent collections have been installed in the Department’s diplomatic facilities throughout the world. Art in Embassies fosters U.S. relations within local communities world-wide – in the last decade, more than 100 artists have traveled to countries participating in AIE’s exchange programs and collaborated with local artists to produce works now on display in embassies and consulates. Going forward, AIE will continue to engage, educate, and inspire global audiences, showing how art can transcend national borders and build connections among peoples.

Seattle artist LISA MYERS BULMASH featured in new docuseries

26 Mar

Visual artist Lisa Myers Bulmash joins Q13 News This Morning to discuss her appearance in a docuseries highlighting artists and museums from all over the country.

Catch Lisa’s important video interview here:

https://www.q13fox.com/video/914348

ADIA MILLETT discusses artwork in her solo “The Moon is Always Full”

25 Mar

Opens today, March 25 – April 22, 2021.

By appointment only.

info@mortonfineart.com

(202) 628-2787 (call or text)

Video by Jarrett Hendrix

My process is informed by taking things apart, removing, replacing, cutting, pasting, sewing, and building, in order to discover the space where transitions occur and where stories of impermanence unfold. Weaving threads of African American experiences with broader ideas of identity, and collective history, my work investigates the fragile interconnectivity among all living things. Fragmented, constructed, and reassembled, I shed light on the multifaceted and complex parallels between the creative process and the nature of personal identity. My paintings feature abstracted, geometric shapes that imply movement – colorful forms expand and collapse freely among glittery backgrounds with hints of landscape and structural objects such as rooftops, windows and doors. While the textiles draw on the domestic and artistic traditions of quilt-making, they are pieced together, combining culturally diverse fabrics. While my work pays homage to the past through the use of repurposed fabrics and historical iconography, its bright atheistic imagery is informed by the future. The art reminds us of the importance of renewal and rebuilding, not only through the artistic process, but also through the possibility of transformative change. – ADIA MILLETT

MILLETT, originally from Los Angeles, California received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. In 2001, she moved to New York City for the prestigious Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, followed by the Studio Museum in Harlem residency program. Millett has been a standout in numerous group exhibitions including the well-received “Greater New York” show at PS1 in Long Island City, New York and “Freestyle” at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Barbican Gallery in London; The Craft and Folk Museum in LA; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta; The Santa Monica Museum of Art; and The Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans. Millett has taught as an artist in residence at Columbia College in Chicago, UC Santa Cruz, Cooper Union in NY, and California College of the Arts. Millett currently lives and works in Oakland. She has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2020.

LISA MYERS BULMASH in The Seattle Times

20 Mar

This artist was chosen to represent Seattle in a docuseries on art in America

March 17, 2021 at 6:00 am Updated March 18, 2021 at 11:15 am

Artist Lisa Myers Bulmash works on an altered book in 2015 during Everett’s Fresh Paint Festival of Artists at Work. (Darrell Scattergood)

By Crystal Paul Seattle Times features reporter

After a monthlong social media contest run by the Northwest African American Museum to select a local Black artist to represent Seattle in a docuseries, the museum announced the winner Monday: Seattle-based visual artist Lisa Myers Bulmash

Seattle community members nominated over 40 local Black artists to participate in the contest and voted for their favorites on social media.

For the series, titled “The Story of Art in America,” Pierre Gervois, show creator and CEO and executive producer of Legit Productions, will visit 10 different U.S. cities with his team, highlighting artists and museums in each locale. Each episode features one city. The series currently has a release date of late 2021 or early 2022, on networks to be announced.

“I’m pretty floored honestly,” said Myers Bulmash, still giddy a few hours after hearing that she won. 

A collage and assemblage artist, Myers Bulmash has lived in Seattle for 23 years and says her work is about making sure the stories and experiences of Black people are seen and heard, and showing the many connections between our past and present. 

We caught up with Myers Bulmash to learn more about the artist, how she feels about representing Seattle, and her own “story of art.”

 Detail view of “2,100 Miles Away” niche: The niche layers an image of a Victorian-era home beneath a transparency of a child… (Bellevue Fine Art Reproduction)

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

How did you come to be doing the kind of work you’re doing?

I really started taking my work seriously sometime after Trayvon Martin was killed and then again after Tamir Rice was killed, because they were both very young. It’s hard to say which one hurt me more. The reason why was because I really started connecting these things to my own life. I have two sons — one just turned 16 and one is 12, which was the age that Tamir Rice was when he was shot. My husband and I used to joke that people who might hate us would have multiple reasons to hate our kids, because my husband is Jewish and I’m Black. Around 2012 and 2014, when Tamir was killed, was when it really settled into the pit of my stomach that my children were at risk just by being who they were. That got me thinking more seriously about the vulnerability of Black bodies. It got me thinking more seriously about my family history and genealogy and the stories that I’ve learned from that. 

What is the purpose of art right now, when people are experiencing loss and trauma?

My reasons for making art especially in this time are primarily two things. One, to let people who look like me, people who have a history like me, people who are marginalized, know that they’re not alone, because for the last four years, it’s felt like that was about all we could do is say, “I’m still here. Are you still here? Yes, I’m still here.” 

The other reason is partly representation. I don’t really think of me making work as part of a grand crusade to right the wrongs and uplift the downtrodden, but it’s important for people to be seen, to feel seen, to be heard, and a lot of the things I’m interested in showing in my work have to do with that. I also just want to throw a little of the unusual or magical into somebody’s life. The last four years, a lot of us have just been putting one foot in front of the other. As a kid, I was always really big on the idea of there being magic just around the corner. 

How did little Lisa first get into art? What were the magical moments that made you believe that “magic was just around the corner”? 

I remember asking for an oil painting kit for my birthday when I was a kid, maybe 12 years old. It was after I had gone through the encyclopedia — you know, those things we had before the internet — and just being wowed by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci and so many others. I said, “Oh, I want to learn how to paint with oil paints!” My folks got me that for my birthday and I was really excited. I didn’t know a thing about it, so, of course, everything came out brownish gray. [Laughs.] So that was a big disappointment. But one of the things I love about collage is that even if I can’t draw like da Vinci, I can borrow his art to create something. I think I’m most excited when somebody connects with a piece of my work and wants to dig around and find more, wants to talk to me about some of the inspirations behind it or the processes I used. But mostly asking more about the images and why I use them. 

How are you drawing those communication lines between past and present?

I pack a lot into my pieces. I have a friend who said this in the kindest way possible. She said, “Your work is sometimes too content-rich for the average bear.” That may be why most of my work is relatively intimately scaled as opposed to the big wall-sized paintings that you might see in a Mickalene Thomas painting. I think in most of my work I have a limited amount of time to reach the person who’s interested in it, and I’m probably talking about something they don’t really want to think about. So I need to get their attention, I need to hold it, and I need to sort of cut them off from everything else that might distract them in order to tell the story. 

That’s a lot of pressure. [Laughs.]

Try being Black someday. [Laughs.] Look at the [artwork] “Bought and Paid For” — books that are mounted on antique washboards. With this triptych in particular I was thinking about a quote that’s been attributed to James Baldwin and Maya Angelou: “Your crown has been bought and paid for. Put it on and wear it.” When I was thinking about that quote, I was thinking about all the sacrifices and the difficult choices and the walking a tightrope that my parents and everybody before them have had to walk in order to get me where I am. [In the “Bought and Paid For” triptych], all of the altered books have a transparency image from my family archive of my brother running into the house we grew up in. I laid that image over various images of houses or things that aren’t anything like houses. The one on the far left is laid over a slave auction house, which obviously is not really a house. The center one is an altered version of the house my mother grew up in. The third one is the house that I started my family in. 

This contest was pitched as: You will be representing “the soul and DNA of Black art in Seattle.” What does that mean to you? How do you feel about that?

When I saw that I was like, “Oh my god, you’ve got to be kidding me.” I’m not representing every last person, I’m not representing every last Black person, I’m not representing every last Black female artist. I’m not representing every last Black woman. It’s a lot to pack into one statement. So at first I was a little wary. Black people are not a monolith. I have to think about the DNA and soul of my Black art in Seattle. 

And what is that?

One is, “Hey. Hey! HEY! We’re here! And we didn’t get here five minutes ago.” Partially representation. Partially trying to pull back and see how so many things that seem completely disconnected are actually connected either through history or art or perception. I actually had somebody say to me not too long ago that they liked my work but they didn’t understand why I was using old images to talk about contemporary issues. My response was, more or less, “Well, because all of those things are still happening, for one thing.” 

What should people know about you and your work?

Some of the things I talk about are kind of hard to face, but I try to make work that allows people to face those things, yet still be able to live with my work. I guess my work is, um, living-room-friendly? [Laughs.] As for me, I’m just out here doing my thing and hoping I can convince some people to help me continue doing my thing.

Correction: This story has been updated. Due to incorrect information received by The Seattle Times, a previous version of this story contained erroneous information about the release date and network of the show. 

Available Artwork by LISA MYERS BULMASH

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