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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! 

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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.

The Washington Post features JULIA MAE BANCROFT a review of ‘Mending Moments’

30 Dec

In the galleries: Julia Mae Bancroft stitches the past to the present

 December 28 at 4:00 PM

“Mamie’s House,” on view through Jan. 4 at Morton Fine Art. (Julia Mae Bancroft/Morton Fine Art)

 

It’s not only the predominantly gray palette that gives Julia Mae Bancroft’s artwork a ghostly feel. The mixed-media pictures in her Morton Fine Art show, “Mending Moments,” feature old-timey houses and interiors. Arrayed inside are women in long dresses, sometimes with faces transferred from vintage photos. The Virginia-bred D.C. artist graduated from the Corcoran College of Art and Design only a few years ago, yet seems fixed in an earlier era.

The “mending” in the show’s title refers in part to Bancroft’s use of embroidery. She stitches as well as draws and paints, working thin, white strands into compositions that sometimes also incorporate layers of paper pulp. The threads can be abstract elements or represent literal things, such as human hair. The vertical strings that cloak “Moonlit Overcast” suggest both hanging moss and the mists of time.

The effect can be spooky. The subject of “Sitting in Her Empty Chair” has a indistinct face and a clawlike hand. “Reverie,” the most 3-D piece, is built upon an iron grate with a tombstonelike shape. Bancroft, it appears, doesn’t merely ponder the past. She actively disinters it.

Julia Mae Bancroft: Mending Moments Through Jan. 4 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

 

Available artwork by JULIA MAE BANCROFT as well as her artist bio with statement can be found by following the highlighted link to Morton Fine Art’s website. Please contact the gallery for additional details.

VONN SUMNER’s “Bread and Circuses (and Walls) reviewed in The Washington Post

4 Oct

VONN SUMNER, A Big Fat Beautiful Wall, 2017, 80″x65″, acrylic and collage on linen

Vonn Sumner

A Californian whose ancestors lived in that state when it was still part of Mexico, Vonn Sumner is not one of the “build the wall” crowd. His response to that chant is the series of paintings in “Bread and Circuses (and Walls).” The biggest piece in the Morton Fine Art show, “A Big Fat Beautiful Wall,” stacks bricklike blocks of bright color, each rectangle graced with a traditional Mexican decorative paper appliqué. The painter also depicts barriers that almost hide the carnival-style festivities behind them.

Updating a phrase that dates to Juvenal, who satirized life in Rome almost two millennia ago, Sumner paints jesters in colorful, bellfestooned hoods. Many of the performers have loaves of Mexican-style sweet bread balanced on their heads. The clowns look sideways at the edge of the pictures, skeptically avoiding the viewer’s gaze. They don’t want to join the circus parade.

Sumner paints in a realist style, deftly employing modeling and shadow to simulate roundness and depth. Yet he intentionally simplifies, notably by using areas of intense, simple hues that suggest both comic books and color-field painting. The effect is to invoke universal forms — things that will outlast the biggest, most beautiful wall. Vonn Sumner: Bread and Circuses (and Walls) On view through Oct. 3 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

Click HERE to view available artwork by VONN SUMNER.