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NATE LEWIS in Hyperallergic

16 May

Artist NATE LEWIS was featured in a recent review on Hyperallergic.

The Body as a Field for Graphic Experiments

A show in Harlem takes on the human form with some surprising results.

Seph Rodney

Nate Lewis, “Uninhibited Movements” (2016), hand sculpted paper photo print, 40 x 26 inches (all images courtesy Art in Flux Harlem)

It’s difficult to surprise art audiences with figurative work these days. But at a new exhibition at Art in Flux Harlem, Terrestrial Resonance, I see work that genuinely astonishes me. Nate Lewis’s “Uninhibited Movements” (2016) and “Conductor II” (2017) both are hand sculpted paper photo prints that meld the material of the photographic paper and the body depicted on that paper to work together as a field of graphic and textural exploration. Lewis, delicately and with a staggering degree of detail, makes cuts into the underlying image of a nude black male body in “Uninhibited Movements” to create a landscape that is tattooed with patterns like waves, a flock of birds wheeling in the night sky, or tribal beadwork incised into the skin. The picking done to create these vistas is so fine that I bounce back and forth between admiring the metaphor of the body as canvas for the decorative impulse and admiring the facture of the work.

To see the rest of the article, click HERE.

To see more of NATE LEWIS’ works, visit his page on our website HERE

NATALIE CHEUNG and NATE LEWIS Reviewed in The Washington Post

25 Apr

WASHINGTON POST ~ In the galleries ~ April 21, 2017

 Natalie Cheung: Increments in Time and Nate Lewis: Tensions in Tapestries On view through April 26 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

Natalie Cheung’s “31 Hours,” cyanotype on paper, on view through April 26 at Morton Fine Art. (Natalie Cheung/Courtesy of Morton Fine Art)

To judge by their titles, change must be the subject of Natalie Cheung’s cyanotypes. Each picture in her Morton Fine Art show, “Increments in Time,” is named after a period of as little as one and as many as 76 hours. This is how long it took water to evaporate from the photographic paper, yielding studies in blue, black and white.  The D.C. artist has turned the process, once used for architectural blueprints, into something abstract and unpredictable. Her pictures may resemble Rorschach tests and microscopic views, but all they truly illustrate is the process by which they were made. Their poetry is an accident of chemicals and duration.


Nate Lewis’s “Signals II,” hand-sculpted paper photo print, at Morton Fine Art. (Nate Lewis/Courtesy of Morton Fine Art)

To Nate Lewis, whose “Tensions in Tapestries” also is at Morton, the African American body is a landscape to be transformed. He cuts and scrapes black-and-white photographic portraits, removing pigment while adding patterns and flocked textures. The effect recalls African weaving and skin embellishment, but also reflects the influence of the D.C. artist’s job as an intensive-care nurse, seeking to heal the most damaged. In pieces such as “Funk and Spine,” the surface of a woman’s body is almost entirely remade, yet sinew, bone and essence endure.

– Mark Jenkins

Natalie Cheung: Increments in Time and Nate Lewis: Tensions in Tapestries On view through April 26 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

A Dose of Culture in Adams Morgan – MFA blog feature by Craig Meklir

18 Aug

 

CMecklir_SigLogo_4

A Dose of Culture in Adams Morgan

CRAIG MEKLIR AUGUST 18, 2016

If you’re in Adams Morgan and you’re feeling fine, stop in to Morton Fine Art and get a dose of culture.

Adams Morgan may be best known for its bars and nightlife, but you should visit during the day and check out Morton — it’s quiet and dignified, but edgy and au courant.

Morton Fine Art Washington DC

Morton Fine Art wears many hats. They want you to come look at the art and appreciate it, but they also want you to start collecting it. Morton offers advice to the burgeoning collector via a professional consultant. Not only will they help you choose the art, they’ll come to your home or office and install it for you in the best possible spot. You’ll grow to love it more every day.

Their dynamic model of changing exhibits means you always get a fresh selection. And because some of the most educated art minds are selecting what hangs on the gallery’s walls, you know you’re choosing from only the best.

Gallery owner and founder Amy Morton says an important part of collecting art is knowing what you like, and the best way to learn is to look at as many different types of art as possible. So get out there and spend some time in some of the DMV’s smaller galleries!

Morton’s, 1781 Florida Ave. NW, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.

Click HERE to read Craig Michael Meklir’s blog.

Click HERE to visit Morton Fine Art’s website.

 

KESHA BRUCE’s “Magic Spells & Reminders” reviewed in the Washington Post

16 Mar
the washington post logo
March 4, 2016
Kesha Bruce

A pair of paintings from Kesha Bruce’s previous Morton Fine Art show hang alongside the current one, “Magical Spells and Reminders.” These renderings of mystical “guardians” are precursors of two newer pictures of silhouetted patchwork figures that wear crowns. But the recent work is in a different style, and most of it is not figurative. Instead, it emphasizes what the Arizona-based artist calls a “personal, magical alphabet” that developed from her drawings. Among the glyphs are a teardrop shape and a cross with arms of equal length.

The latter is featured in “The Crossroads,” a potent collage-painting that is mostly in bloodlike shades, with white and black marks and glittery areas. The mixed-media piece began, as did the others, with bolts of cloth from a defunct Seattle upholstery factory. The artist painted and cut the material, assembled the roughly rectangular scraps and then painted some more.

The process yields works that suggest both mid-20th-century abstraction and traditional hand-printed fabrics. Bruce’s symbols are new to her, but they tap into something ancient.

Kesha Bruce: Magical Spells and Reminders On view through March 17 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

keshabruce_2016_010 The Crossroads 60 x 48 web

Kesha Bruce, The Crossroads, 2016, 60″x48″, mixed media on canvas

Click HERE to view available artworks by KESHA BRUCE.

Contact Morton Fine Art for acquisition information.

Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

(202) 628-2787, mortonfineart@gmail.com, http://www.mortonfineart.com

 

VONN SUMNER’s “New Ancient Pictures” reviewed in the Washington Post

19 Nov

the washington post logo

November 13 at 12:40 PM

 

Vonn Sumner

Would it be misleading to call Vonn Sumner’s art “Homeric?” The California artist’s “New Ancient Pictures” features paintings of men he calls “warriors” rendered in a blue-free palette partly inspired by the lack of that color in the language of the “Iliad” and “Odyssey.” But the Morton Fine Art show doesn’t literally portray classical-world combatants. The four warrior pictures are self-portraits of a sort, and feature a man who carries a garbage can and lid as armor and shield, and a broom as his sword. Other paintings have even less connection to heroic legends of the bygone Mediterranean.

Sumner is a representational artist who explores traditional media. These pieces are mostly oils on panels, and a previous Morton show included his temperas. But the artist demonstrates his modernity by working from photos — often of himself — and using large blocks of pure color. He flattens perspective, which suits such paintings as “Pink Theatre,” a depiction of a shallowly articulated building facade. Among the surrealist elements are elaborate masks and, in “Hovering,” a figure who’s prone in midair. The least interesting picture in the series is “Palette 1,” an abstraction that really isn’t one: It’s actually a daubed record of all the reds, grays and blacks that Sumner used to paint this un-blued demimonde.

New Ancient Pictures: Vonn Sumner On view through Nov. 21 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787.www.mortonfineart.com.

Pink Theatre, 24"x24", oil on panel

Pink Theatre, 24″x24″, oil on panel

 

Vonn Sumner, Hovering, 24"x24", oil on panel

Vonn Sumner, Hovering, 24″x24″, oil on panel

 

VONN SUMNER, Palette 1, 2015, 33"x28", oil on jutte

VONN SUMNER, Palette 1, 2015, 33″x28″, oil on jutte

The Washington City Paper reviews Charles Williams’ ‘Swim’

15 Oct

Arts Desk

Charles Williams’ ‘Swim’ at Morton Fine Art, Reviewed

Lost and Found

You can be forgiven if your eye wanders in “Swim,” Charles Williams’ current solo show at Morton Fine Art. Between the clutter of the gallery and the works themselves—closely hung bursts of contrast in black and white—there is a lot to digest. But it’s impossible even for passersby to miss the centerpiece of the exhibition, Lost and Found #1, an immersive six-by-eight-foot canvas depicting frothy waves at night in photorealistic detail. The painting, mostly in black, simultaneously beckons and unnerves. 

Williams’s interest in water as a theme derives from his lifelong fear of swimming. He attributes the phobia both to his experience of nearly drowning at age 11 and to the racial stereotypes surrounding swimming that he faced growing up black in South Carolina. In the handful of fragmented self-portraits on view, Williams, who still doesn’t know how to swim, depicts himself variously in goggles, pool floaties, and wearing a towel draped over his head.

While the towel-as-hoodie is Williams’ most overt reference to the idea of swimming pools as sites of racial tension, race permeates the exhibition in other ways.  In some portraits Williams’ face floats disembodied, fracturing at its edges into individual brushstrokes in black and brown. It’s a literal deconstruction of the artist’s skin color—and the various tones and associations, including fear, that come with it.

The exploration of black is further developed in nearby paintings from theNighttime series, in which Williams has painted waves in a heavy black impasto over backgrounds of the same color. These smaller paintings, as well as the artist’s closely cropped monochrome seascapes on Mylar, deserve a closer look. Unfortunately, the installation gives them little room to breathe. Viewers are better off focusing on the large-scale work; the tide will carry you from there.

“Swim” runs until Oct. 13. 1781 Florida Ave. N.W.

Charles Williams, Lost and Found 1, 72″x 96,” oil on canvas, Courtesy of Morton Fine Art

CHARLES WILLIAMS’ “Swim” reviewed in Washington Post

13 Oct

 

the washington post logo

Museums
In the galleries: No day at the beach

Swim, 30"x30", oil on panel

A self-portrait by Charles Williams in the exhibit “Swim,” at Morton Fine Art. (Courtesy Charles Williams and Morton Fine Art)
By Mark Jenkins October 9 at 11:57 AM
In the self-portraits of “Swim,” Charles Williams presents himself in goggles and other aquatic paraphernalia, his muscles taut and his skin burnished. The South Carolina artist, however, isn’t bragging about his prowess in the water. He actually has a powerful fear of it, in part because of a childhood incident in which he nearly drowned. The three series gathered in this Morton Fine Arts show are quite different, but all address Williams’s fraught relationship with the sea.

The largest works are realistic paintings of yellow sand and frothy surf under night skies. These are based on photos Williams took while wading in the water and experiencing — the show’s catalogue reports — “shallow breaths, a quickened heartbeat and trembling hands.” That anxiety is not conveyed by the pictures, which are calm and precisely rendered, even if the blackness above the water does indicate that this is no day at the beach.

Even darker are the small oils of waves at nighttime, entirely in black. The water’s motion and contours are depicted entirely by line and texture, and visible only when the light hits at a suitable angle. These paintings resemble engravings and bas-relief sculptures.

Although Williams is no impressionist, the self-portraits are a bit looser than his large surf pictures. Most of them are painted on Mylar, which lacks the absorbency of canvas and thus gives a more immediate appearance. Sheer white, apparently representing harsh sunlight, obliterates areas of the image. These ephemeral qualities, however, are countered by the strength of the artist’s features and form. Even when the subject is simply water and air, Williams’s style always feels substantial.

Swim: Charles Williams On view through Oct. 13 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. http://www.mortonfineart.com.

 

Lost and Found 4, 72"x96", oil on mylar

Charles Williams. “Lost and Found 4.” (Courtesy Charles Williams and Morton Fine Art)