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LAUREL HAUSLER’s “Dogtown” reviewed in The Washington Post

29 Jun

 


Laurel Hausler. “Midnight in Dogtown,” 2019. (Laurel Hausler)

Sunday, June 30, 2019

By Mark Jenkins

Laurel Hausler

“Dogtown,” the namesake of Laurel Hausler’s show at Morton Fine Art, is a real place: an abandoned Massachusetts town that literally went to the dogs. But it’s also a state of mind, one that has much in common with the outlook of the Arlington artist’s previous exhibition, “Ghost Stories.”

Like the earlier pictures, these feature spectral presences, mixed-media contrasts and compositions dominated by darkness. So the most surprising of the newer works is “Midnight in Dogtown,” in which a sketchy rendering of a human figure is framed by upside-down black drips and dwarfed by fields of bright orange and red.

The selection includes a few small pieces that employ found objects and encaustic, a mix of wax and pigment. More common, though, are expressionist drawing-paintings that combine pencil marks with oil and gouache. These appear vehement, yet rough in places. It’s as if Hausler leaves openings in case any spirit might seek to enter.

Laurel Hausler: Dogtown Through Wednesday at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St. NW, No. 302.

 

Available Artwork by LAUREL HAUSLER

 

Washington Post In the Galleries: JULIA MAE BANCROFT ‘Through Glass Lace’

25 May
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‘Violet’s Window’, 2018, ink, gouache, pencil and oil pastel on paper, 20″x 20″

Julia Mae Bancroft

There are fewer photo transfers in Julia Mae Bancroft’s “Through Glass Lace” than in her previous Morton Fine Art show, but the weight of old photographs remains heavy. The D.C. artist’s mixed-media pictures are almost all in black and shades of gray, with just occasional touches of pale pink or green. Bancroft conjures the past as drained of color but crowded with memories.

Texture is as crucial as image to Bancroft’s style. The pictures incorporate pulp, fiber, papier-mache and hand-stitched embroidery, and they are on sheets of paper mounted to stand slightly away from their backdrops. The layers represent what the artist’s statement terms “a glass lace screen” while “piecing together a fragmented narrative.”

That narrative doesn’t seem to be autobiographical. Some of the photo imagery is older than Bancroft, evoking the 1960s and much earlier times. The same is true of the artist’s technique, notably the needlework. The reminders of traditional women’s crafts ground Bancroft’s ghostly reveries in real-world labor.

~ Mark Jenkins, 2019

Julia Mae Bancroft: Through Glass Lace Through May 22 at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St. NW, No. 302.

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‘Thinking of Falling’, 2019, ink, gouache and collage on paper, 22″x 11.5″

Remaining available artworks by JULIA MAE BANCROFT can be viewed here on our website and are also accessible for viewing in person at Morton Fine Art.

Morton Fine Art

52 O Street NW #302, Washington DC 20001

Hours: Wednesday – Saturday : Noon – 5pm

Sunday – Tuesday : by appointment

The Washington Post features MAYA FREELON and AMBER ROBLES-GORDON

4 May

In the galleries: ‘Interact + Integrate’ requires audience participation

By: Mark Jenkins

Fabric scraps and damaged tissue paper are the essential ingredients of new work now at Morton Fine Art. Those materials might sound negligible, but Amber Robles-Gordon and Maya Freelon employ them with ambition and impact.

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MAYA FREELON, Bubble 2, tissue ink monoprint, 44″x 74″

Freelon’s technique began with what her statement calls a “beautiful accident”: finding colored tissue paper stained by water from a leaking pipe. From this discovery, the North Carolina artist developed a method of bleeding pigment from moistened colored tissue onto sheets of white paper, which are so thick they hang as if they’re fabric.

The larger works in “Rebirth/Rebound” were made with a pottery wheel, so the transferred hues spin with verve and grace. The dominant color is often magma-dark red, framed by black and green and white bubbles that evoke the images’ aquatic origins. The most direct print, “Suspension,” is mostly orange and yellow, which flow with the exuberance of a classic abstract-expressionist canvas. Freelon’s accident yields pictures that are assured and bold.

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AMBER ROBLES-GORDON, Kepler 19-b Super Earth, mixed media on paper, 36″x 36″ 

Robles-Gordon, a D.C. native, is known for hanging strands of textiles and other found objects in intricate arrangements. The pieces in her “Third Eye Open” are wall-mounted rather than suspended, and feature circular drawing-collages orbited by smaller rounded objects, some partly covered in bits of garments. The forms suggest zygotes and planets, as well as eyes, but at the heart of each of the larger circles is a leafy motif. Whether seen as cosmic or botanical, the artist’s circling compositions exalt natural cycles.

Maya Freelon: Rebirth/Rebound and Amber Robles-Gordon: Third Eye Open Through May 15 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

You can view all available artwork by these talented artists here on our website! 

NATE LEWIS in ‘6 Artists Pushing the Limits of Paper’ by Ariela Gittlen

24 Apr
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NATE LEWIS, 2018, Palpable Memories II, hand-sculpted photo paper print

At first glance, Nate Lewis’s work looks like it’s been adorned with embroidery, rather than paper and ink. His tender portraits and images of protesters gathering in the streets are sliced, scored, and punctured in such dense and precise patterns that their surfaces resemble beadwork.

“Latent Tensions,” a recent series based on photographs taken during the the 2017 presidential inauguration, shows protesters filling the streets. In one image, Lewis has almost entirely obscured the faces of three young men wearing “Fuck Trump” baseball caps, giving the protesters total anonymity and lending the scene an added layer of psychological weight. Like a tattoo, these marks read as both wound and decoration, reminders of the body’s beauty as well as its vulnerability.

Trained as a registered nurse, Lewis approaches the medium with empathy. “It’s about assessing the paper, responding to it, and giving it what it needs,” he explains. “My approach is to treat paper like a complex organism with a dynamic, hidden life.”

Lewis is currently using a residency at Dieu Donné (a paper-making studio and gallery in the Brooklyn Navy Yard) to continue his exploration into paper’s staggering variety, as well as its expressive potential. “It’s just a simple material,” he says, “but at that same time, the variability within the many kinds of paper is nuanced and vast.”

Read the rest of the article by Ariela Gittlen here on ARTSY.net

All AVAILABLE ARTWORK by NATE LEWIS can be viewed here on MFA’s website

Delicious Line Reviews posts on ‘Weapons for Spiritual Warfare’ KESHA BRUCE

3 Mar

02 Mar 2018

Kesha Bruce: Weapons for Spiritual Warfare

Morton Fine Art

Reviewed by Stephanie Lee Jackson

The patchwork symbols arrayed in Kesha Bruce’s luminous paintings feel like scraps of ancient garments, rescued from a flood. Squares of canvas, paint-logged, layered, and worn, are assembled in combinations that evoke a half-remembered ritual.

Bruce’s iconography derives from Hoodoo, a West African spiritual practice which evolved in the Mississippi Delta as a result of the slave trade. She absorbed the tradition as a child, watching her grandmother drawing spells in the kitchen. Recurring symbols, such as a crossroads, hold specific meanings – dispersal, banishment – which shift with context, like words in a poem. The act of painting becomes the working of a rediscovered spell.

Her paint handling mirrors the Hoodoo use of body fluids in spell casting. The rich textures appear to emerge from generations of handling, with few intermediary tools. The largest paintings exude the determined authority of a heritage shattered and painstakingly reconstructed.


Follow the hyperlink to view all available artwork by KESHA BRUCE on our website!  Please contact us here at the gallery for additional information and acquisition details.  ‘Weapons for Spiritual Warfare’ is up through March 7th, don’t miss out!

The Washington Post reviews KESHA BRUCE ‘Weapons for Spiritual Warfare’

2 Mar
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Until I Break Skin, 2018, dyed/painted fabric on un-stretched canvas, 96″x 96″

The artworks in Kesha Bruce’s “Weapons for Spiritual Warfare” are a form of ancestor worship. Each one of the tradition-rooted pieces in her Morton Fine Art show is “an answered prayer,” writes the African American artist, who divides her time between the United States and France.

Most of these collage-paintings are small and consist of four rough-edged fabric squares daubed with simple geometric forms. The X, Y, + and # shapes are elemental, but rendered loosely to give evidence of the artist’s hand, as well as offer a sense of spontaneity. The largest and most complex are “The Sky Opened for Her,” which is cross-shaped and fringed with streamers, and “Between Starshine and Clay,” whose top third consists of overlapping black squares. The former resembles a ceremonial robe, while the latter evokes a sweeping view of a village under a nighttime sky — a universe conjured from tattered scraps and unstudied gestures.

Reviewed by Mark Jenkins, March 1, 2018.

Kesha Bruce: Weapons for Spiritual Warfare Through March 7 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

Please follow the hyperlink to visit our website  for all available artworks by KESHA BRUCE, and contact us here at the gallery for additional information or acquisition details.

 

American Lifestyle Magazine features artist MAYA FREELON ASANTE

17 Jan

‘Bleeding Art’ an interview with Maya Freelon Asante written by Shelley Rose featured in American Lifestyle Magazine Issue 87, 2018.

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‘Visionary and artist Maya Freelon Asante discovered her preferred medium by happenstance.   While living with her grandmother during art school, she found water-damaged tissue paper in the basement and became fascinated by the bleeding of the color.  This fortuitous accident became her muse, and she has been using tissue paper to create her art ever since.’

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“When I create the large tissue quilts, I always ask the community to help in the creation process.  [To me], community means, ‘I am because we are’ Ubuntu.”   ~Maya Freelon Asante

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Please contact us here at the gallery by emailing mortonfineart@gmail.com for a PDF readable version of this article as well as additional information and images.  Available artwork by MAYA FREELON ASANTE can be viewed here on our website.