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NATHANIEL DONNETT’s artwork on view at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

16 Mar

Child’s Play: An Exploration of Adolescence

Friday, March 1, 2019 to Sunday, August 4, 2019
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Child’s Play: An Exploration of Adolescence situates contemporary works of art from Kemper Museum’s Permanent Collection in conversation with concepts brought forth by neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud (Austrian, 1856–1939). Freud suggested that humans can trace their compulsions back to their childhood. From this idea, Child’s Play explores artists’ depictions of children, their relationships with those around them, and with the world.

Artists Nathaniel Donnett and Nicholas Prior see Freud as inspiration for their projects. Using the scene of a playground as the setting for his collage work Freudianslipslideintodarkisms (2011), Donnett illuminates how childhood memories and experiences may directly inform our identities in adulthood. Prior’s Untitled #46 (2004) and Untitled #26 (2005) are based on Freud’s notion that an adult cannot accurately access memories of childhood in the way they were originally experienced.

Artists in this exhibition depict children’s experiences from varying perspectives that then reflect back on the world. In her photographic work, Julie Blackmon shows real and imagined aspects of her family life by capturing moments when children are crying, revealing a sense of a hectic home environment. Arthur Tress overlays images of children with images of games, school, and activities, again suggesting the Freudian concept that his adult self cannot accurately remember the feelings he originally felt as a child. Artist Kojo Griffin relies on his child psychology training to highlight relationships of children while possibly referencing Freud’s concept of “doubling”—self-love and narcissism found in children—inUntitled (2000).

Child’s Play links the arts and social sciences to engage viewers in the different ways artists depict childhood. Child’s Play: An Exploration of Adolescence is curated by Jade Powers, assistant curator at Kemper Museum.

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Morton Fine Art invites you to join us for an unveiling of new and major artworks at Gallery B in Bethesda this March

9 Mar

Artwork by: OSI AUDU, JULIA MAE BANCROFT, ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY, NATALIE CHEUNG, NATHANIEL DONNETT, VICTOR EKPUK, KATHERINE HATTAM, NATE LEWIS, ANDREI PETROV, MARIO ANDRES ROBINSON, and VONN SUMNER

 

 

Spring 2019 Survey of Select Morton Fine Art Artists

March 6 – March 30th, 2019

Opening Reception

Friday, March 8th from 6-8pm

 

EXHIBITION LOCATION

Gallery B

7700 Wisconsin Ave, Ste E

Bethesda, MD 20814

 

HOURS

Wednesday – Saturday 12pm – 6pm

 

Want to view artwork in DC? Come by our permanent gallery space:

 

Morton Fine Art

52 O St NW #302

Washington, DC 20001

Hours: Wed – Sat 12pm-5pm and Sun-Tues by appointment

 

Please also view our exhibition “Starshine and Clay” featuring the artwork of KESHA BRUCE, MAYA FREELON and AMBER ROBLES-GORDON at Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA through March 31st, 2019.

 

Workhouse Arts Center

2nd Floor – McGuireWoods Gallery

9518 Workhouse Road

Lorton, VA 22079

Hours: Wed – Sat 11am-6pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm

 

About Morton Fine Art  

Founded in 2010 in Washington, DC, 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 anyone can become an art collector or enthusiast, 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.

Redefining the traditional gallery model, Morton Fine Art (MFA) replaces a single gallery space with two locations: MFA’s permanent fine art gallery space and *a pop-up project, a temporary mobile art galleryof curated group shows.  Morton Fine Art established it’s trademark, *a pop-up project, in 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Starshine and Clay” at Workhouse Arts Center featuring artwork of KESHA BRUCE, MAYA FREELON & AMBER ROBLES-GORDON

15 Feb

Starshine and Clay

February 13 – March 31

Starshine and Clay
On View February 13 – March 31, 2019
Exhibition Reception: March 9, 6:00-8:00pm
McGuireWoods Gallery

DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE 

Workhouse Arts Center and Morton Fine Art present the work of  Kesha Bruce, Maya Freelon and Amber Robles Gordon — three women artists exploring ideas of healing power through their lineage of storytelling.

Bruce’s spirit-based use of guardians, African-American folklore and a prophetic mix of abstracted figures and symbols serve as a reminder ‘to fight’ and to bring about change. Freelon’s visual vortex of potent tissue ink monoprints and quilt-like immersive installations welcome the contemplation of our standing ideas of strength and vulnerability. Robles-Gordon’s powerful narrative and the influence of African elemental and spiritual based practices activate bloodline connections and ancestral memories.

With substantive and varied approaches, Bruce, Freelon and Robles-Gordon chart the transcendence of gender, history and preservation, rooting themselves as important and impactful contributors to current social and cultural dialogues.

Morton Fine Art co-curates “Starshine and Clay” at Workhouse Arts Center

7 Feb
KESHA BRUCE, MAYA FREELON & AMBER ROBLES-GORDON
Starshine and Clay
February 13th – March 31st, 2019
Opening Reception
Saturday, March 9th from 6-8pm
EXHIBITION LOCATION
Workhouse Arts Center
2nd Floor – McGuireWoods Gallery
9518 Workhouse Road
Lorton, VA 22079
HOURS
Wednesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm
Sunday 12pm-5pm
About Starshine and Clay
Morton Fine Art and Workhouse Arts Center present the work of Kesha Bruce, Maya Freelon and Amber Robles Gordon — three women artists exploring ideas of healing power through their lineage of storytelling.
Bruce’s spirit-based use of guardians, African-American folklore and a prophetic mix of abstracted figures and symbols serve as a reminder ‘to fight’ and to bring about change. Freelon’s visual vortex of potent tissue ink monoprints and quilt-like immersive installations welcome the contemplation of our standing ideas of strength and vulnerability. Robles-Gordon’s powerful narrative and the influence of African elemental and spiritual based practices activate bloodline connections and ancestral memories.
With substantive and varied approaches, Bruce, Freelon and Robles-Gordon chart the transcendence of gender, history and preservation, rooting themselves as important and impactful contributors to current social and cultural dialogues.
Co-curated by Amy Morton of Morton Fine Art and Jaynelle Clarke Hazard of Workhouse Arts Center.
KESHA BRUCE
Artwork is spiritwork.
When I pray, I ask my ancestors for the bravery to follow and make manifest the deepest truths and longings of my heart. Every artwork I create is an answered prayer.
In this current political and social moment my prayers are especially urgent: Where can Black women feel safe? Where can we feel free? How do we protect our spirits from those who mean to destroy us?
As an artist, these questions always lead me back to my work.  In my experience, the most powerful weapon for spiritual warfare is joy. I’m not being hyperbolic when I tell you that the process of making artwork has saved my life many, many times. Art is a refuge for the spirit. It offers us a way to understand and heal ourselves. I am of the mind that something absolutely prophetic can be revealed in both the act of making and the act of looking at art.
Art objects embody spiritual power.
I believe this so firmly now, that it seems almost surreal to think back to a time, not so long ago, when I was afraid to speak about my work in spiritual terms for fear of being called less serious or less intellectually rigorous. It’s clear to me now that often our fears show us the parts of ourselves that are desperately waiting to be revealed. To be set free.
So, I present this new work with the firm knowledge that what I am creating is an important and worthy contribution to the current cultural dialogue. More importantly, I consider my work a part of a strategy for resistance. Even as we steel ourselves for battle ahead, we must remember to leave room for joy.
Joy is sacred and so it is worth fighting for.
Remember to fight.
-KESHA BRUCE
SELECTED COLLECTIONS
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (14 pieces), Washington, DC
The Amistad Center for Art and Culture, Hartford, CT
The Museum of Modern Art, Franklin FurnaceArtist Book Collection, New York, NY
The University of Iowa Women’s Center, Iowa City, IA
The En Foco Photography Collection, New York, NY
The Museum of Modern Art/Franklin FurnaceArtist Book Collection, New York, NY
photo credit: Christopher Charles
MAYA FREELON
Maya Freelon is an award-winning visual artist whose work was described by the late poet Maya Angelou as “visualizing the truth about the vulnerability and power of the human being.” Cosmopolitan Magazine featured her in June 2015 in “Art Stars” calling her one “of the most badass female artists in the biz.”  She was commissioned by Google to design original art for their OnHub router, by Cadillac to create a live-sculpture for their Dare Greatly creative campaign, and by the North Carolina Museum of Art to create a collaborative tissue paper sculpture celebrating the opening of their African Art wing. Her unique tissue paper art, praised by the International Review of African American Art as “a vibrant, beating assemblage of color,” has been exhibited internationally, including shows in Paris, Jamaica, Madagascar, and Italy. She was selected by Modern Luxury Magazine as Best of the City; by Huffington Post as “Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know”; and by Complex magazine as “15 Young Black   Artists Making Waves in the Art World.”  Maya has completed residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, the Korobitey Institute in Ghana, and the Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia. She earned a BA from Lafayette College and an MFA from the School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
COLLECTIONS
U.S. State Department
U.S. Embassy in Madagascar
U.S. Embassy Swaziland
U.S. Embassy Rome
The University of Maryland (David C. Driskell Center)
Johns Hopkins University
Rocketship Rise Academy;
The Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists
The Reginald F. Lewis Museum
The School of the Museum of Fine Arts The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Lafayette College
The Brandywine Workshop
The Experimental Printmaking Institute
The Williston Northampton School
The Kokrobitey Institute
Lewis Tanner Moore
Dr. Maya Angelou
AMBER ROBLES-GORDON
My artwork is a visual representation of my hybridism: a fusion of my gender, ethnicity, cultural, and social experiences. I impose colors, imagery, and materials that evoke femininity and tranquility with the intent of transcending or balancing a specific form. I associate working with light, color, and energy as a positive means to focus on the healing power found in the creative process and within us all. It is my belief that colors have both feminine and masculine energies and each color represents a specific aspect of nature.
-Amber Robles Gordon
COLLECTIONS
Judith A. Hoffberg Archive Library
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
Masterpiece Miniature Art Exhibition, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Capital One Bank, Mc Clean,Virginia
District of Columbia’s Art Bank, Washington, D.C.
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, NY
The Gautier Family Collection, Washington, DC
About Workhouse Arts Center
Workhouse Arts Center is a Virginia not-for-profit corporation that was created for planning, developing and fundraising a self- sustaining arts space. The primary goal has been and remains the renovation, preservation and reuse of the former District of Columbia Complex’s Workhouse facilities. Officially transitioned from the District of Columbia Prison Complex to Workhouse Arts Center in 2008, the organization now sits on 55-acres of land surrounded by rolling hills, featuring 4 main gallery spaces, near 100 artist studios and hosts an array of arts education courses, festivals and theatre performances.
About Morton Fine Art
Founded in 2010 in Washington, DC, 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 anyone can become an art collector or enthusiast, 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.

OSI AUDU’s “Dialogues with African Art” at Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild in New York

11 Oct

Osi Audu: Dialogues with African Art – Artist’s Talk and Opening Reception

When:   October 20, 2018 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Where:   BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY

Opening on Friday October 19, the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts presents the solo exhibition OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART. Mr. Audu, who lives in Hurley, New York, will give an artist’s talk on Saturday, October 20, at 3:00 pm. The public opening reception for the show follows at 4:00 pm on Saturday.

OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART examines issues of identity rooted in the artist’s cultural experiences growing up in Nigeria, as well as broader metaphysical and social concepts of the self. Audu’s paintings, some of them very large in scale, are influenced by the abstract geometric possibilities in traditional African sculpture; thus the exhibition also includes examples of original nineteenth- and twentieth-century African sculpture that the artist uses as inspiration for his work. Describing the works in the show, Audu writes: “I am interested in the dualism of form and void, and the metaphysical 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 title “self-portrait” that Audu uses in his work is about the portrait of the intangible self, rather than a literal portrait of the artist.

Osi Audu is a Nigerian-American artist whose work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions including the Kwangju Biennale, Venice Biennale, the Africa-Africa exhibition at the Tobu Museum, Japan, and the Museum of the Mind at the British Museum. His work has also been exhibited at and collected by public institutions including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, The Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey, the British Museum, Horniman Museum, and Wellcome Trust Gallery, all in London, the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and the Mott-Warsh Collection in Flint, Michigan. His work has also been acquired for corporate collections including by Sony Classical New York, the Fidelity Investment Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Schmidt Bank in Germany.

Audu curated an international exhibition of contemporary African art which opened at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art in Detroit in September 2017, then traveled to the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York, New Paltz, and the August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2018.

He is a current recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant.

The exhibition is curated by Sylvia Leonard Wolf, who is the chair of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild’s Exhibition Committee. A full color catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Below is an excerpt from an essay in the catalogue:

Audu is, in effect, reclaiming abstraction…Through the language of abstraction, Audu seeks to create a container or a frame for the intangible that is the self. In choosing to dialogue with works of African art that are themselves symbolic representations of concepts, he situates his geometric abstraction firmly within African ontologies. And in doing so, he also makes tangible the intangible, or perhaps hidden, presence of African sculpture within the legacy of Western modernism.
— Christa Clarke, Ph.D. (Senior Curator, Arts of Global Africa, Newark Museum)

OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART is open through Sunday, December 2. The gallery is open Thursday-Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00 pm or by appointment. School groups and other organizations can schedule group visits with the artist by contacting derin@woodstockguild.org.

Click HERE to view available artwork by  OSI AUDU.

OSI AUDU : DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART, Woodstock NY

26 Sep
SelfPortraitwithEgungunHairstyle_web

OSI AUDU, Self-Portrait with Egungun Hairstyle, 2018. Graphite and pastel on paper mounted on canvas, 22 x 31 inches

 

OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, Woodstock NY

Solo exhibition opens Friday October 19th and is open through Sunday, December 2.  The gallery is open Thursday-Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00 pm or by appointment.

Mr. Audu, who lives in Hurley, New York, will give an artist’s talk on Saturday, October 20, at 3:00pm and the public opening reception for the show follows at 4:00 on Saturday.
OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART examines issues of identity rooted in the artist’s cultural experiences growing up in Nigeria, as well as broader metaphysical and social concepts of the self. Audu’s paintings, some of them very large in scale, are influenced by the abstract geometric possibilities in traditional African sculpture; thus the exhibition also includes examples of original nineteenth- and twentieth-century African sculpture that the artist uses as inspiration for his work. Describing the works in the show, Audu writes: “I am interested in the dualism of form and void, and the metaphysical 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 title “self-portrait” that Audu uses in his work is about the portrait of the intangible self, rather than a literal portrait of the artist.

Osi Audu is a Nigerian-American artist whose work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions including the Kwangju Biennale, Venice Biennale, the AfricaAfrica exhibition at the Tobu Museum, Japan, and the Museum of the Mind at the British Museum. His work has also been exhibited at and collected by public institutions including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, The Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey, the British Museum, Horniman Museum, and Wellcome Trust Gallery, all in London, the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and the Mott-Warsh Collection in Flint, Michigan. His work has also been acquired for corporate collections including by Sony Classical New York, the Fidelity Investment Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Schmidt Bank in Germany.

SelfPortraitAgbogoMmwoMask_web

OSI AUDU, Self-Portrait, after Agbogo Mmwo Mask, 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 58 inches

Audu curated an international exhibition of contemporary African art which opened at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art in Detroit in September 2017, then traveled to the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York, New Paltz, and the August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2018.

He is a current recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant.

The exhibition is curated by Sylvia Leonard Wolf, who is the chair of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild’s Exhibition Committee. A full color catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Below is an excerpt from an essay in the catalogue:

Audu is, in effect, reclaiming abstraction…Through the language of abstraction, Audu seeks to create a container or a frame for the intangible that is the self. In choosing to dialogue with works of African art that are themselves symbolic representations of concepts, he situates his geometric abstraction firmly within African ontologies. And in doing so, he also makes tangible the intangible, or perhaps hidden, presence of African sculpture within the legacy of Western modernism.

— Christa Clarke, Ph.D. (Senior Curator, Arts of Global Africa, Newark Museum; Board President, Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) and AAMC Foundation)

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For additional information about artist OSI AUDU please contact Morton Fine Art at mortonfineart@gmail.com -or- (202) 628-2787.  Follow the highlighted link to view all available artwork by OSI AUDU on our website www.mortonfineart.com.

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All 2018 Byrdcliffe arts programming is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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AMBER ROBLES-GORDON in The Elm Newspaper of Washington College

22 Sep

The Elm

Kohl Gallery Exhibit Confronts Issues of Identity and Ownership

Grayscale edited.KohlGalleryTalk_JustinNashBy Victoria Gill

Elm Staff Writer

The new guest artist residing in the Kohl Gallery at the Gibson Center for the Arts hangs her identity on the walls.

Amber Robles-Gordon’s opening reception for the exhibit “Material-isms: The Cultivation of Womanhood & Agency Through Materiality,” was scheduled for Sept. 6 but, due to a water leak in Gibson, was postponed to Sept. 13 during her talk.

Her exhibition “features assemblage and installation works created from a range of found objects and textiles,” according to Julie Wills, curator and interim director of the Kohl Gallery.

This past Thursday, the gallery was filled with a crowd mostly of Washington College students, along with some faculty and community members.

According to Wills, Robles-Gordon “confronts the often-paradoxical experiences of her gender, ethnicity, and social and cultural influences.”

The collection consists of compiled pieces from five different series of mixed media art that present her experiences and reflect her pride in her Latino, African and Caribbean heritage.

Through the use of hybridism, most of Robles-Gordon’s pieces use natural materials and topics. This is evident in the canvas of paint chips that have layers of text on top of them and other mixed forms of feathers and cutout shapes.

Robles-Gordon said her use of color, light, and energy represent a part of herself. To her, it is impossible to separate her identity from her works.

The words “conformity,” “analyze,” and specifically the quote “the United States weighs on my spirit” are some of the keywords and ideas that are crucial to her incorporation of investigating femininity and masculinity, duality and spirituality, and the natural and cultural environment, according to Wills.

Robles-Gordon learned from the influential women in her upbringing, such as her mother and grandmother, to “stand in and claim my agency,” of her identity and her body, especially at times when standing out brings negative attention.

According to Robles-Gordon, the two pieces that hung behind her during her talk focus on the lack of women of color in science fiction during her upbringing. She dedicated these works to her niece, who she views as an inspiration.

Robles-Gordon said that someone she looked up to growing up was Henrietta Lacks, who much of this exhibition is inspired by.

Regarding Lacks, Robles-Gordon talks about her history and the abuse by the medical system still using her cells. The lack of recognition of Lacks’ cells in medical discovery are reflected in two large black canvases that state: “When is our, your DNA no longer my, our, your own?”

Her purpose is not only to tell Lacks’ story but to advertise womanhood.

In one section of a series, Robles-Gordon raises concerns about artists’ fear of standing up for themselves in a world where work can be hard to come by. According to Robles-Gordon, being a woman in the workplace, the chance of not being taken seriously, or even mistreated, is high.

Her use of historical text, scraps from advertisements, and natural objects such as hanging branches evokes “traditional healing arts across cultures, sacred symbols of power and divine spirituality,” Wills said.

Junior Drake Harrison said he was specifically drawn to the hanging branches.

“The colors are so poignant, they draw you in,” Harrison said.

According to the artist, these branches and spherical pieces reflect the fibers of our bonds of DNA.

Overall, Robles-Gordon wants to invoke “a spiritual and energetic sensibility” from college students, which she says communities and academic institutions are not providing.She believes colleges can start useful discussion when exposing their population to the arts.

The Kohl Gallery will be showing the exhibit until Oct. 10 during regular exhibit hours, which can be found at the door of the gallery.

AVAILABLE ARTWORK BY AMBER ROBLES-GORDON