Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

VONN SUMNER talks music and art in Bomarr Blog

16 Oct

Background Noise, Vol 111: Vonn Sumner

UNCATEGORIZED

BACKGROUND NOISE, VOL 111: VONN SUMNER

MR_ADMIN

Vonn Sumner has had art in his bones for quite some time.

Growing up around art (his father was also an artist), it was no surprise that Vonn would eventually attend art school. It was at this art school, UC Davis, where he discovered artist Wayne Thiebaud was not only still alive, but teaching classes. Unfortunately, it would be another 2 years before Vonn met the criteria for attending one of Wayne’s classes, but that didn’t deter him. Vonn just started showing up. It was through this ambitious approach that he absorbed a lot of Wayne’s teachings. Something that proved invaluable to Vonn’s developing art pursuit.

Vonn’s paintings mix a bit of humor with occasional social commentary. He has a whole series of paintings depicting dumpster fires, which were particularly relevant during the chaotic 2020 we had.

He cites everyone from Guston to Chris Ware to R. Crumb to Buster Keaton as influences, and if you look close enough, you can see all of it in his work.Vonn-Sumner-Neo-Byzantine-UltravioletVonn-Sumner-Dumpster-Fire-lllVonn-Sumner-Bread-and-Circuses-IIVonn-Sumner-1Vonn-Sumner-DGAFVonn-Sumner-ParlanceVonn-Sumner-Watching-a-Dumpster-Fire

First album you bought?
“The Best of Blondie” on cassette tape, I was like 5 years old. I still love Blondie.

Last album you bought?
I just found a vinyl version of the classic underground “Grey Album” by DJ Danger Mouse. It is “unofficial” but still sounds great.

First concert?
My parents took me with them to concerts when I was very little. The earliest one I actually remember was Sha-Na-Na.

Last concert?
The Alabama Shakes

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
So many, of course… I think I will choose De La Soul: 3 Feet High and Rising. I was like 13 years old when it came out, and it was unlike anything I had heard before: so creative, so fresh, so funny, so wonderfully weird. I wore that tape out completely. Great cover art too.

Who is your musical hero?
Otis Redding. Talk about an ‘authentic voice’… direct. All heart.

How important is music to your creative process?
Music is extremely important to my creative process. It is almost as necessary as light, sometimes. Music opens me up, gets me out of my head and into my body. It goes directly to our emotional core, which, of course it is endlessly inspiring. I also love music that is able to incorporate multiple moods/styles and music that incorporates humor in various ways.

BONUS: What is your favorite album cover of all time (and why)?
Otis Redding Live in Europe from Stax / Volt in 1967… Because of the combination of that hot pink suit against the black background, plus the font/text.

BONUS #2: Any visual artist(s) you’d like to see answer these questions?
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
Jason Stopa
Loie Hollowell
Amy Sherald
Eleanor Ray

All Blues – Miles Davis
Japan – Pharaoh Sanders
Action Line – Dorothy Ash-
Govinda Jai Jai – Alice Coltrane
Wede Harer Guzo – Hailu Mergia & Dahlak Band
Tezeta – Mulatu Astatke
It Is What It Is – Blood Orange
I Can’t Stand It – The Velvet Underground
Making Time – The Creation
River Euphrates – Pixies
The Beast and Dragon, Adored – Spoon
House of Cards – Radiohead
Digital – Joy Division
That’s All I Need – Magic Sam
La Venia Bendita – Marco Antonio Solis

www.vonnsumner.com

Check out Vonn’s’s playlist below on Spotify. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes. You can browse ALL the Background Noise episodes right here.

New Painting Sculptures by JENNY WU

27 Sep

JENNY WU’s sculptural paintings transform liquid paint into sculpture, a process derived from making oil on canvas paintings and discovering the many layers of oil paint beneath the surface. These layers embody linear time, repetitive process and material characteristics. WU pours a thick coat of latex paint one color at a time on a glass surface allowing each layer to dry completely and repeating the process many times. She then cuts the dried paint to reveal layers of cross-section, which are then assembled into sculptures on a flat surface. The cross-section juxtaposes order and chaos: the consistent order of paint from old to new, and the imperfection of subtle differences in thickness. Each piece follows a specific pattern, uniting differences to present a systemic imagery. These works question our basic assumptions about what paintings and sculptures can be. Her work acknowledges the sensational and perceptual properties of materiality, and then transforms the materials from their original forms and purpose to present them within new contexts.

JENNY WU earned her MFA in Studio Art from American University in 2015 and her B.A.  in Studio Art and Architectural Studies from William Smith College in 2012.

She has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2021.

JENNY WU, $2000 ASAP, 2020, 14″x12″x2.5″, latex paint and resin on wood panel
Detail of $2000 ASAP
JENNY WU, A Very Stable Genius, 2019, 24″x18″x2.5″, latex paint and resin on wood panel
Detail of A Very Stable Genius

JENNY WU, Big Day for Social Media and FAIRNESS, 2020, 12″x12″x2.5″, latex paint and resin on wood panel
JENNY WU, Make A Deal, 2020, 10″x10″x2.5″, latex paint and resin on wood panel
Detail of Make A Deal

JENNY WU, Thank Union for Weekends, 2021, 24″x18″x2.5″, latex paint and resin on wood panel
Detail of Thank Union for Weekends

JENNY WU, The Lies Stuck, 2021, 18″x14″x2.5″, latex paint and resin on wood panel
Detail of The Lies Stuck
Detail 2 of The Lies Stuck
JENNY WU, Time is Running Out, 2020, 18″x14″x2.5″, latex paint and resin on wood panel
Detail of Time is Running Out

JENNY WU, Why It’s a Holiday, 2021, 20″x20″x2.5″, latex paint and resin on wood panel
Detail of Why It’s a Holiday

Acquire and view available artwork by JENNY WU.

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

http://www.mortonfineart.com

info@mortonfineart.com

(202) 628-2787 (call or text)

Virtual Gallery Talk: Successions: Traversing US Colonialism September 14, 6-7PM ETDC mixed-media artist Amber Robles-Gordon talks Successions with curator Larry Ossei-Mensah at American University

10 Sep

Collage by Amber Robles-GordonA
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center Fall exhibitions are on view through December 12. View our exhibitions, hours, and health and safety protocols.
Plan Your VisitInstallation view of "Successions"
Virtual Gallery Talk: Successions: Traversing US Colonialism
September 14, 6-7PM ETDC mixed-media artist Amber Robles-Gordon talks Successions with curator Larry Ossei-Mensah.

Successions is a conceptual juxtaposition that celebrates abstraction as an art form while leveraging it as a tool to interrogate past and current US policies within its federal district (Washington, DC) and territories (including Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands) that it controls. This event will be held virtually. Please register to receive the Zoom link via email.RegisterRead the Exhibition Catalog Online

Featuring essays by curator Larry Ossei-Mensah and Noel W Anderson.Ossei-Mensah headshot#AskACuratorDay
Featuring Successions curator Larry Ossei-Mensah

#AskACuratorDay is Wednesday, September 15! Larry will be on Twitter to answer your questions about Successions, his career as an independent curator, and more. Tweet your questions to @aumuseum_katzen and @youngglobal using hashtag #AskACuratorDay.Feminist Art History Conference
Online September 24-26

The conference builds on the legacy of feminist art-historical scholarship and pedagogy initiated by Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard at American University. With the goal of fostering a broad dialogue on feminist art-historical practice, the event will feature papers spanning a range of chronological, geographic, and intersectional topics.RegisterPlease consider making a contribution by becoming a member. No gift is too small, and your support matters now more than ever before.Give NowImages (top-bottom):

Amber Robles-Gordon, y mi bandera vuela mas alto que la tuya, and my flag flies higher than yours, 2020. Mixed media collage on canvas, 18 x 24 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Installation view of Successions: Traversing US Colonialism. Courtesy of Greg Staley. 

Ossei-Mensah headshot, photo credit: Anthony Artis.
Copyright © 2021 American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, All rights reserved.You are receiving this email because you have signed up to receive emails from the American University Museum.

Our mailing address is:
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center4400 Massachusetts Ave NWKatzen Arts CenterWashington, DC 20016
Add us to your address book

AMBER ROBLES-GORDON’s “Successions” solo at American University featured in Culture Type, Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah

7 Sep

From California to Chicago, Tennessee to Maine, 15 of Summer’s Best Museum Exhibitions Remain on View This Fall

by VICTORIA L. VALENTINE on Sep 6, 2021 • 6:58 am

A BROAD SELECTION of exhibitions opened at art museums throughout the United States over the summer months. A great number of these shows remain on view, some through September, others further into the fall and beyond. Major traveling exhibitions of Bob Thompson, Joseph Yoakum, and Alma Thomas are underway. The first solo museum exhibitions of Caroline Kent and Simphiwe Ndzube are debuting in Chicago and Denver, while the first survey exhibitions of Jamal Cyrus and Jacolby Satterwhite are on view in Houston and Pittsburgh. Jennifer Packer and Cauline Smith have shows in Los Angels and Houston. In Nashville, a major retrospective of legendary sculptor William Edmondson is being staged, the first such presentation in two decades:


ARNOLD JOSEPH KEMP, Possible Bibliography, 2015-20 (52 black and white archival inkjet prints Canson Infinity Platine Fibre Rag; unique closed edition. 6.83 x 10 inches each. | © Arnold Joseph Kemp. Fine Art Collection, Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. Photo courtesy artist and Fourteen30 Contemporary, Portland

“Arnold Joseph Kemp: I would survive. I could survive. I should survive.” @ Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, University of California, Davis | June 3–Nov. 12, 2021

A one gallery show, “I would survive. I could survive. I should survive,” consists of photography, two paintings, and a sculpture by Chicago artist Arnold Joseph Kemp. The presentation is anchored by “Possible Bibliography” (2015-20), a grid-style installation of 52 photographs. In each of the images, Kemp’s hands are holding a book from his personal library by Hilton Als, James Baldwin, W.E.B. Du Bois, Okwui Enwezor, Glenn Ligon, Toni Morrison, Fred Moten, Adrian Piper, and Robert Farris Thompson, among many other authors. The work explores “how histories and canons impact and are impacted by the personal, the political, and the collective.”


Installation view of “Jamal Cyrus: The End of My Beginning,” Blaffer Art Museum, Houston, Texas (June 5-Sept. 26, 2021). | Courtesy Blaffer Art Museum

“Jamal Cyrus: The End of My Beginning” @ Blaffer Art Museum at University of Houston, Texas | June 5-Sept. 26, 2021

The first survey exhibition of Houston artist Jamal Cyrus spans 15 years, from 2005 to 2021. The recipient of the 2020 Driskell Prize, Cyrus considers how African American identity has evolved across time, borders, and Black political movements. More than 50 works are on view, spanning work on paper and denim, assemblage works, textiles, collage, installation, and performance. The exhibition is presented in partnership with “Levels & Layers: An Artist’s Reflections on Third Ward,” curated by Cyrus at the University Museum at Texas Southern University.


JOSEPH YOAKUM, “Rain Bow Bridge in in Bryce Canyon National Park near Henriville Utah,” stamped 1968. | Collection of the Roger Brown Study Collection

“Joseph E. Yoakum: What I Saw” @ Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois | June 12-Oct. 18, 2021

Born in Ash Grove, Mo., Joseph E. Yoakum (1891–1972), traveled internationally with several circuses and, during World War I, served in an all–African American noncombat unit in Europe. Living on Chicago’s South Side at age 71, he began drawing fascinating landscapes based in part on observations from his travels, but largely influenced by his imagination and spiritual vision. Over the next decade, he produced about 2,000 works. More than 100 of the pen, pencil, pastel, and watercolor on paper works are featured in “What I Saw.” The exhibition travels next to the Museum of Modern Art in New York and then on to the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas.


Installation view of “Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe,” Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colo., June 13-Oct. 10, 2021. Shown, from left, “The Bloom of the Corpse Flower,” 2020 (acrylic paint on canvas and mixed media, 94 1/2 x 79 inches) and “Bhekizwe Riding through the Garden of Earthly Delights,” 2020 (polyurethane resin, found spade, welded steel, found clothing and cloth, wood, acrylic paint, silicone, spray paint, foam coat, and acrylic eyes). | Courtesy Denver Art Museum

“Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe” @ Denver Art Museum in Colorado | June 13-Oct. 10, 2021

The first U.S. solo museum exhibition of Simphiwe Ndzube features a new body of work—eight paintings, sculpture, and sculptural paintings. The exhibition “integrates themes related to power, conflict, and the search for freedom through a Pink Universe,” a fantasy world invented by the artist that draws on magical realism and post-apartheid history. South African-born Ndzube lives and works in Los Angeles.


JENNIFER PACKER, “Idle Hands,” 2021 (oil on canvas, 90 x 84 inches / 228.6 x 213.36 cm). | The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Purchase with funds provided by the Acquisition and Collection Committee. 2021. Image courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, Corvi-Mora, London

“Jennifer Packer: Every Shut Eye Ain’t Sleep” @ Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in Calif. | July 1, 2021-Feb. 21, 2022

Jennifer Packer makes poetic portraits and floral still lifes. Her first exhibition on the West Coast, “Every Shut Eye Ain’t Sleep” features new and recent drawings and paintings by the New York-based artist.

The exhibition follows “Jennifer Packer: The Eye is Not Satisfied with Seeing” at Serpentine Galleries in London, Packer’s first solo show outside the United States. This fall, the traveling exhibition opens at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.


Installation view of “Alma Thomas: Everything is Beautiful,” Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Va. (July 9-Oct. 3, 2021). | Courtesy Chrysler Museum of Art

“Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful” @ Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Va. | July 9 – Oct. 3, 2021

The first African American woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (1972), Alma Thomas is associated with her adopted hometown of Washington, D.C., and celebrated for her large-scale, vibrantly colored abstract paintings made in the latter years of her life. “Everything is Beautiful” looks at her career through a wider lens, exploring the full spectrum of her creativity—her paintings, as well as her love of fashion, gardening, teaching, performing arts, and more. Accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog, the traveling exhibition also focuses on her roots in Columbus, Ga., where she was born.


Installation view of “Toward Common Cause,” Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago (July 15-Dec. 19, 2021). Shown, Rick Lowe’s “Black Wall Street Journey.” | Courtesy Smart Museum of Art

“Toward Common Cause: Art, Social Change, and the MacArthur Fellows Program at 40” @ Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago | July 15–Dec. 19, 2021

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the McArthur Foundation Fellows Program, “Toward Common Cause” presents new and re-contextualized works by 29 visual artists and former fellows, including Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Dawoud Bey, Mark Bradford, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Whitfield Lovell, Rick Lowe, Kerry James Marshall, Julie Mehretu, Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, Deborah Willis, and Fred Wilson. Presented at multiple venues throughout Chicago, the Smart Museum is the main site with related programming including “Carrie Mae Weems: A Land of Broken Dreams” at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center and “Toward Common Cause at the Stony Island Arts Bank.”


CAULEEN SMITH, “Camera, Pen, or Gun?,” 2017 (recto/verso: satin, poly-satin, silk-rayon velvet, indigo-dyed silk rayon velvet, indigo-dyed silk satin, rayon- polyester ribbon, acrylic fabric paint, satin cord, poly-silk tassel, and sequins, 73 x 47 inches). | The Mohn Family Trust

“Cauleen Smith: We Already Have What We Need” @ Contemporary Art Museum Houston in Texas | July 15-Oct. 3, 2021

Over the course of her career, Los Angeles-based artist Cauleen Smith “has harnessed acts of imagination and the power of revolutionary thinking to envision a better world.” Her latest exhibition features film, video, sculpture, textiles, installation, and drawing. The show’s title (“We Already Have What We Need”) is adapted from the video installation at the center of the presentation, which reminds us to take care of each other and the planet in order to sustain our existence. The theme carries throughout the works in the exhibition, emphasizing “acts of caring as antidotes to the injustices and inequities that shape our past and present.”

The exhibition coincides with “Give It or Leave It,” the traveling exhibition currently on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and “Cauleen Smith: Stars in My Pocket and the Rent is Due” at Charles White Elementary School. The site of the original campus of Otis Art Institute is now a satellite venue of LACMA.


BOB THOMPSON, “Stairway to the Stars,” circa 1962 (oil and photostat on Masonite, 40 × 60 inches / 101.6 × 152.4 cm). | Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York. © Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York

“Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine” @ Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine | July 20, 2021–Jan. 9, 2022

“This House Is Mine” is only the second museum retrospective of Bob Thompson (1937–1966) and the first dedicated to the artist in more than 20 years. Born in Louisville, Ky., his transatlantic career was highly productive during the short period he was active, from 1958-1966. Featuring paintings and works on paper drawn from more than 50 public and private collections, the exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog.


From left, LAURA WHEELER WARING, “Woman Wearing Orange Scarf,” 1940 (oil on canvas, 17 x 12 inches); and MAY HOWARD JACKSON, “Portrait Bust of an African,” 1899 (bronze, 21 x 12.75 inches). | Courtesy Tacoma Art Museum

“The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection” @ Tacoma Art Museum in Washington | July 31-Nov. 28, 2021

The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection has toured the world. Currently on view in Tacoma, Wash., the collection explores the African American experience through paintings, sculpture, photographs, rare books, letters, and manuscripts. The works date from 1595 to present. Unrivaled by other private collections, the holdings were assembled by Shirley and Bernard Kinsey over five decades.


Installation view of “Chicago Works: Caroline Kent,” MCA Chicago (Aug 3, 2021–Apr 3, 2022). | Photo by Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

“Chicago Works: Caroline Kent” @ Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago | Aug. 3, 2021-April 3, 2022

The first solo museum exhibition of Chicago artist Caroline Kent is a site-specific installation titled “Victoria/Veronica: Making Room.” Staged in an immersive domestic environment, the presentation features large-scale abstract paintings, sculptures, sound, and architectural interventions.


WILLIAM EDMONDSON (American, 1874-1951), “Bess and Joe,” circa 1930-40 (limestone, 17 ¼ × 20 ¼ × 10 ½ inches). | Gift of Salvatore Formosa Sr., Mrs. Pete Formosa Sr., and Mrs. Rose Formosa Bromley and Museum Purchase through the Stallworth Bequest

“The Sculpture of William Edmondson: Tombstones, Garden Ornaments, and Stonework” @ Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, Nashville, Tenn. | Aug. 12-Oct. 31, 2021

The first major museum exhibition of Tennessee-born William Edmondson (c. 1874-1951) in 20 years draws from public and private collections and features 20 works from Cheekwood, the largest repository of the artist’s work. After retiring from a series of manual labor jobs, Edmondson received a divine calling and began carving chunks of salvaged limestone and street curbs into modernist sculptures, gravestones, and garden ornaments. In 1937, he became the first African American artist to have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A new fully illustrated catalog accompanies the exhibition.


JACOLBY SATTERWHITE, “We Are In Hell When We Hurt Each Other,” 2020 (HD digital video). | © Jacolby Satterwhite, Courtesy the artist

“Jacolby Satterwhite: Spirits Roaming on the Earth” @ Miller Institute for Contemporary Art at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa. | Aug. 14-Dec. 5, 2021

The first major solo exhibition of Jacolby Satterwhite, “Spirits Roaming on the Earth” surveys 10 years of his conceptual practice, spanning video, sculpture, installations, dance tracks, and performance. A new monograph titled “How lovly is me being as I am” accompanies the exhibition.


DAVID HARTT, “The Histories (after Duncanson),” 2020 (tapestry: polyester, cotton, wool, polyester cotton, acrylic, cashmere, 113 1/16 × 174 inches / 287.2 × 442 cm). | Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Kerry James Marshall and Cheryl Lynn Bruce, 2021.13

“Hammer Projects: David Hartt” @ Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Calif. | Aug. 21, 2021-Jan. 2, 2022

David Hartt’s single gallery show is a multimedia installation “examining the relationships between culture, geography, and colonial histories in the Americas in the 19th century.” The installation employs sound and textiles, including a tapestry based on “Blue Hole on the Little Miami River” (1851), the painting by Robert S. Duncanson (1821–1872). A Canadian artist, Hartt lives and works in Philadelphia.


AMBER ROBLES-GORDON, “The eternal altar for the women forsaken and souls relinquished. Yet the choice must always remain hers. El altar eterno de las mujeres abandonadas y las almas renunciadas. Sin embargo, la elección siempre debe ser de ella.,” 2020 (mixed media collage on canvas, 18 x 24 inches). | © Amber Robles-Gordon, Courtesy the artist

“Successions: Traversing US Colonialism: Amber Robles-Gordon” @ American University Museum, Washington, D.C. | Aug. 28-Dec. 12, 2021

“Successions” presents abstract paintings, collages, and quilts produced by Washington-D.C.-based artist Amber Robles-Gordon in 2020 and 2021. Using the tools of abstraction, Robles-Gordon questions “who has access to resources, citizenship, and the right to sovereignty,” in the District of Columbia, where voting representation in Congress remain elusive, and the U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands,. Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, the exhibition is accompanied by a new publication. CT

BOOKSHELF
“The Sculpture of William Edmondson: Tombstones, Garden Ornaments, and Stonework” documents the retrospective hosted by Cheekwood Estate & Gardens. The new fully illustrated catalogs, “Bob Thompson: This House is Mine” and “Alma W. Thomas: Everything is Beautiful” accompany major traveling exhibitions. “Joseph E. Yoakum: What I Saw” documents the exhibition of the same name, another traveling show. “Oracles Of The Pink Universe: Simphiwe Ndzube” accompanies the artist’s first solo museum exhibition. “Jennifer Packer: The Eye Is Not Satisfied with Seeing” and “Jacolby Satterwhite: How lovly is me being as I am” are forthcoming in November. “Jamal Cyrus: The End of My Beginning” is forthcoming in January. “David Hartt: The Histories” is forthcoming in February. Earlier publications include “David Hartt: For Everyone a Garden” and “Stray Light,” a time capsule that assembles Hartt’s photographs of the Johnson Publishing Building in Chicago, shortly before it was sold. Also consider, The Kinsey Collection.

create! Magazine features KATHERINE TZU-LAN MANN

29 Aug

Water Ribbon, A Solo Exhibition By Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann At Morton Fine Art In Washington D.C.

Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, Water Ribbon, 2021, Acrylic and sumi ink on paper, 90 x 60 in, Image courtesy of Morton Fine Art
Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, Water Ribbon, 2021, Acrylic and sumi ink on paper, 90 x 60 in, Image courtesy of Morton Fine Art.

We’re excited to share the announcement of Water Ribbon, a solo exhibition of new works on paper by Washington, D.C.-based artist Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, on view from September 8th – October 6th, 2021 at Morton Fine Art. Featuring a collection of recent pieces by the artist, the exhibition offers an evocative perspective on contemporary ecologies during a time at which environmental destruction and the consequences of climate change loom ever larger. Utilizing acrylic, sumi ink, and collage, Mann draws from traditions of Chinese landscape painting to create mesmerizing, vibrant depictions of organic matter.

Mann begins her process by pouring liquid pigments onto paper, allowing them to dry and yielding a stain of color from which the work is then based. Through an embrace of the indeterminate qualities of her materials—the ink or paint takes its own course, without the artist dictating its shapes or forms—Mann demonstrates a symbiotic relationship to her materials that serves as an apt metaphor for coexistence with the natural world. What results from Mann’s subsequent additions to the paper are rich, layered tableaus imbued with an affective interplay of ideas.

Of the challenges posed by her recent work, Mann describes her rumination upon “the resuscitation of landscape painting in a world where ‘landscape’ is represented and defined through an ever-widening field of digital, graphic, and visual forms.” At times almost dizzying, the pieces shown in Water Ribbon eschew Western conventions of spatial perspective and inert figuration, instead embracing qualities of movement and monumentality central to Chinese landscape painting traditions.

Bright hues and a multiplicity of patterns are nestled among Mann’s illustrations of flora and fauna, with streams of ink evoking vines and riverbeds. Lying in the tension between the artificial and the organic, Mann’s renderings suggest and intertwining of systems rather than a constant grappling for control or domination. Splashes of ink seep across each image, traversing various shapes and forms. Elsewhere, translucent swathes of paint filter views of plant life, appearing like stained-glass window through which to gaze. “In my most recent work, I hope to live in the tradition of landscape painting, experiencing it for what it has always been: an occasion for radical experimentation and confrontation with the world, in the broadest sense of the term that sustains us,” said Mann. Amongst all the chaos and beauty, Water Ribbon proposes a mode of coexistence attuned to change, reciprocity, and an honoring of diverse forms of life.

Arch 3, 2020, Acrylic and sumi ink on paper, 56 x 56 in, Image courtesy of Morton Fine Art
Arch 3, 2020, Acrylic and sumi ink on paper, 56 x 56 in, Image courtesy of Morton Fine Art.

Artist Statement:

My work’s abstractions arise from the subjects I portray: ecological and geological cycles, processes of chemical corrosion and natural efflorescence. With roots in traditions of Chinese landscape painting, my monumentally sized paintings and installations evolve a fantastic, abstract vision of the natural world. My latest work confronts the challenge: the resuscitation of landscape painting in a world where “landscape” is represented and defined through an ever-widening field of digital, graphic, and visual forms. How can a painting capture flux, abundance, waste, fertility, and the collision and collusion of diverse forms? How can it respond to the pressure we place on our era’s fragile ecosystem? My paintings explore both questions by sustaining tension between what is artificial and what is natural, between what is chemical and what is biological, between organic and inorganic. The paper on which I paint is not only a recognition of a tradition of Chinese painting; it is also a medium of vulnerability and expansiveness, susceptible to crease and tear as well as to collage and collation. My own role in the creation of the paintings strikes a balance between the purposive and the protective. I trust to process, chance, and change, but I encourage, direct, and facilitate all of these. In my most recent work, I hope to live in the tradition of landscape painting, experiencing it for what it has always been: an occasion for radical experimentation and confrontation with the world, in the broadest sense of the term that sustains us.

Crust, Mantle, Core, 2021, Acrylic and collage on paper, 60 x 60 in, Image courtesy of Morton Fine Art.

Crust, Mantle, Core
, 2021, Acrylic and collage on paper, 60 x 60 in, Image courtesy of Morton Fine Art.

Alicia Puig

Available artwork by KATHERINE TZU-LAN MANN

Contact Morton Fine Art to view by appointment. (202) 628-2787 (call or text), info@mortonfineart.com. Mask required.

NATHANIEL DONNETT’s “Sub-woofer” public art installation featured in New Haven Independent

26 Aug

Artist Goes Guerrilla Public

by LINDSEY MANCINI | Aug 19, 2021 9:07 am

(3) Comments | Post a Comment | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Arts & CultureVisual Arts

Nathaneil Donnett Photos
NATHANEIL DONNETT PHOTOS

From the sidewalk, you might see it from across the street. It looks like it’s supposed to be there, a bit of straightforward wooden fencing that might contain an electrical box or some other public utility.

But if you look closely, you might notice one slat of the fencing is painted a deep blue. If you cross the street, you’ll see the wood is patterned, and that the whole object stands as an entirely different kind of public utility.

Inside the fencing is an altar that celebrates music and the celestial world within — and for — a community

Danielle De Jesus Photo
DANIELLE DE JESUS PHOTO

Nathaniel Donnett, an artist who splits his time between New Haven and Houston (and was part of a group show at City Gallery in May), created the public installation, Sub-woofer, on a Sunday in July.

It now stands in an undisclosed location in New Haven as the start of a public, visual conversation with the community living directly around it.

As the artist described it, “it’s another band member in the group ensemble” that is the public space.

Donnett selected this location because the people living in the neighborhood are mostly working-class Black people. It’s the kind of neighborhood plagued by education and housing issues, while it’s also a target of gentrification.

“These neighborhoods remind me of the neighborhoods I was raised in,” Donnett said, writing to me via email that these neighborhoods contain significant cultural value that often become coopted by institutions. These institutions downplay their complicity in this theft, and fail to give back to the communities that allow them to grow and flourish.

“Those relationships seemed strained or rarely coincide,” Donnett said, “The piece speaks to that complex relationship in a general way.”

The structure of the piece consists of three panels of wooden fencing leaning against one another at their edges. The triangular fence subverts notions of access; that is, you can’t get inside. But through the slats in the panelling, and in a pattern of cut-outs — each containing a pair of tambourine jingles — you can see an installation inside that inaccessible space, made up of records representing some of America’s greatest musicians: Count Basie, Roscoe Robinson, the Jackson 5, Nancy Wilson, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Louis Armstrong. If you’re tall enough, you can peer over the fence to catch a full view of the records within, but there’s a strong sense of interiority versus exteriority — what’s protected as opposed to what’s visible from afar.

Donnett selected the tambourine jingles that allow for this visual gateway into the piece because of their use in the Southern Black church. In Sub-woofer, they imply sound and movement, bringing rhythm and accent to the familiar, static panelling of the wood.

“I was at a funeral a couple of years ago and noticed that it [the tambourine] was played as a single solo instrument, but the jingles acted as a collective,” Donnett said. “That reminded me how people employ acts of individualism and collective action as not a singular thing, but a multiplicity of actions.”

Since it was a Sunday, the installation of the piece itself was uneventful. Donnett took three visits to the site and an extra trip to the record store, but no one approached him as he worked.

“I think sometimes people can sense your energy,” he said. “They can sense if you’re there to harm or to create problems.” After setting up the piece’s wooden infrastructure, Donnett returned, installing the albums purchased from a local record store on site.

The patterns of the tambourine jingles reference the constellations of stars, employing elements of sacred geometry to create a percussive grid that’s both implemented and disrupted by the viewer’s own expectations of where the next dash of silver will lie.

“The pattern utilizes a visual language where sound is silent,” said Donnett, “and expected based on our personal relationship to sound, socializing of sound, and social agreement.”

The line of blue that signals the piece from afar works almost like a metronome, keeping time. The rich ultramarine reaches back and historically across continents, through Egyptian, Buddhist, and European paintings to the first uses of lapis lazuli about 9,000 years ago in present-day Afghanistan. For Donnett, the color represents both spirituality and humanity, and its implementation here, on a single piece of wood, reveals “the individual amongst many other individuals.”

To the artist, the blue line (almost a Barnett Newman-type “zip”) is especially important “considering the shift in the spatial and symbolic dynamic when approaching the piece,” he said. The color works to translate the object from utilitarian to sculptural, from intellectual to spiritual, from exclusion to invitation, from artist to community and back again, as New Haven discovers it.

Available Artwork by NATHANIEL DONNETT

New mixed media and experimental printmaking artworks by ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY

6 Aug
ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY, Blossoms Fall, 2021, 16″x12″, mixed media and experimental printmaking on canvas

Rosemary Feit Covey was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. In a career spanning three decades she has exhibited internationally and received countless awards. Ms. Covey is the recipient of both a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship and Alpha Delta Kappa Foundation National Fine Art Award. Ms. Covey’s work is in many major museum and library collections, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the New York Public Library Print Collection, the National Museum of American History, Harvard University and the Papyrus Institute in Cairo, Egypt. In 2007 a large retrospective of Ms. Covey’s science-related work was displayed at the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago.

Ms. Covey was the recent recipient of a fellowship at Georgetown University Medical Center, as the 2007-2008 Artist-in-Residence. She has also held residencies in Bellagio, Italy and in Santa Ana, California and has had solo exhibitions both nationally and internationally, including Toronto, New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Buenos Aires, Zurich and Geneva. Solo museum exhibitions include the Butler Museum of American Art and the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts. Her work has been exhibited in countless group exhibitions including major exhibitions at the National Collection of Fine Arts and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Most recently two pieces were shown at the Danforth Museum. Eric Denker, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Henry T. Hopkins, Director of the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center in Los Angeles have written comprehensive articles on Ms. Covey’s work.

Covey has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2010.

ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY, Yana’s Birds, 2021, 46″x30″, mixed media and experimental printmaking on canvas

Available artwork by ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY

On view by appointment at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St NW #302, Washington, DC 20001

info@mortonfineart.com

(202) 628-2787 (call or text)

New Arrivals from ANDREI PETROV’s NYC studio

4 Aug
Andrei Petrov, Pieces of a Thought, 2018, 40″x60″, oil on canvas

The production of a painting begins with a pencil or ink drawing on paper which I extrapolate from and edit as I work the canvas. First with pencil or charcoal and then with color washes done with acrylic or ink, I map the raw canvas and allow it to be ingrained with the materials. Once satisfied with the composition and balance, the surface is sealed with a clear acrylic so as to allow the use of oil based pigments. Handmade tools are used to drag, apply, scrape and blend the paint across the canvas plane. Sandpaper and rags also propel the evolution of the work. The addition and subtraction of paint are meant to act as a metaphor for the intentions and motives for which the paintings are based.

– Andrei Petrov

Andrei Petrov, Staycation, 2019, 40″x40″, oil on canvas

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Fairmont Hotel, Chicago, IL

Four Seasons Hotel, Washington, DC

Four Seasons Hotel, Punta Mita, Mexico

Conrad Hotel, Miami, FL

The Athem, New York, NY

Hotel Plaza Athenee, New York, NY

Andrei Petrov, Pensive Sunday, 2020, 40″x60″, oil on canvas
Andrei Petrov, Chiming In, 2015, 38″x72″, oil on canvas

Available Artwork by ANDREI PETROV

On view by appointment at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St NW #302, Washington, DC 20001

info@mortonfineart.com

(202) 628-2787 (call or text)

Successions: Traversing US Colonialism | Amber Robles-Gordon | American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center | Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah

21 Jul

August 28, 2021 – December 12, 2021

Amber Robles-Gordon presents Successions: Traversing US Colonialism, a solo exhibition on view at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center in fall 2021. Successions is a conceptual juxtaposition that celebrates abstraction as an art form while leveraging it as a tool to interrogate past and current US policies within its federal district (Washington, DC) and territories (including Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands) that it controls. By highlighting nuances related to US governance in its federal districts and territories, Robles-Gordon seeks to question who has access to resources, citizenship, and the right to sovereignty.

Robles-Gordon creates artwork imbued with a layered visual language replete with cultural signifiers and abstract gestures. Successions is a celebration of abstraction as an artistic expression. Robles-Gordon utilizes iconic artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Alma Thomas, Romare Bearden, and members of the Washington Color School as vivid reference points for her own dynamic use of color, form, and material within the works she created for the exhibition. These explorations will provide insights into a number of inquiries that undergird the construction of the exhibition. Successions creates a pathway towards discursive criticism around issues impacting marginalized communities oppressed by the United States’ hegemonic domestic and foreign policies. The exhibition features a new body of colorful abstract paintings, collages, and quilts created in 2020 and 2021 between San Juan, Puerto Rico (Robles-Gordon’s birthplace) and Washington, DC (where she currently lives).

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Robles-Gordon’s creative strategies were directly impacted as a result of sheltering in place in San Juan. The lack of access to materials and arduous circumstances she was confronted with in Puerto Rico and upon returning to Washington, DC catalyzed Robles-Gordon to improvise her approach to making works for the exhibition. Moreover, the experience heightened her awareness of how communities on the margin are adversely treated during moments of crisis.

Robles-Gordon’s also uses works featured in Successions to mine the stories, personal narratives, and aesthetics of the women of the Caribbean, particularly of African descent, in an effort to investigate the political, socio-economic, and environmental implications of placemaking, contemporary colonial policy, and notions of citizenship on these social groups. The debate over DC statehood, similar to Puerto Rico, has been a prevalent point of contention in the District but rarely featured in the national conversation. Robles-Gordon seeks to use her “backyard” as a metaphor that would expand our understanding of notions of freedom, liberty, and justice.

A fully illustrated catalog with essays by Ossei-Mensah and Noel Anderson and in-person and virtual programs will accompany the exhibition, enriching the viewer’s experience.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Amber Robles-Gordon is a mixed media visual artist of Puerto Rican and West Indian heritage. She is known for her commissioned temporary and permanent public art installations for numerous government agencies, institutions, universities, and art fairs.

Robles-Gordon has over twenty years of experience exhibiting and in art education, commissioned critiques, lectures, teaching, and exhibition coordination. She received a BS in business administration from Trinity University and an MFA in painting from Howard University, Washington, DC. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including Germany, Italy, Malaysia, England, and Spain. Robles-Gordon has participated in residencies in Costa Rica, Washington, DC, and at the American Academy in Rome, Italy. Her artwork has been reviewed and featured in numerous magazines, journals, newspapers, and online publications.

Most recently, she held an online solo exhibition at Galeria de Arte, Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and was featured by Tafeta Gallery in the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London, England, and during London Art Week. In 2022, she will create a traveling exhibition in collaboration with Cultural DC and El Cuadrado Gris Galeria in Puerto Rico.

ABOUT THE CURATOR

Larry Ossei-Mensah uses contemporary art as a vehicle to redefine how we see ourselves and the world around us. A Ghanaian-American curator and cultural critic, Ossei-Mensah has organized exhibitions and programs at commercial and nonprofit spaces around the globe from New York City to Rome, featuring artists including Firelei Baez, Allison Janae Hamilton, Brendan Fernades, Ebony G. Patterson, Modou Dieng, Glenn Kaino, Joiri Minaya and Stanley Whitney. Moreover, Ossei-Mensah has actively documented cultural happenings featuring the most dynamic visual artists working today, including Derrick Adams, Mickalene Thomas, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Federico Solmi, and Kehinde Wiley.

A native of The Bronx, Ossei-Mensah is also the co-founder of ARTNOIR, a 501(c)(3) and global collective of culturalists who design multimodal experiences aimed to engage this generation’s dynamic and diverse creative class. ARTNOIR endeavors to celebrate the artistry and creativity of Black and Brown artists around the world via virtual and in-person experiences. Ossei-Mensah was a contributor to the first-ever Ghanaian Pavilion for the 2019 Venice Biennial with an essay on the work of visual artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

Ossei-Mensah is the former Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at MOCAD in Detroit and currently serves as Curator-at-Large at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), where he curated the New York Times heralded exhibition Let Free Ring and A Return: Liberation as Power respectively.       

Ossei-Mensah has been profiled in publications including the New York Times, Artsy, and Cultured Magazine, and was recently named to Artnet’s 2020 Innovator List. Follow him on Instagram at @larryosseimensah and Twitter at @youngglobal.

Available artwork by AMBER ROBLES-GORDON

Partnership between global digital platform for art from Africa and the African Diaspora | Pavillon 54 | and Morton Fine Art

19 Jul

ENGAGING THE STORY OF ART FOR A SUSTAINABLE AFRICAN ART MARKET: THE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN PAVILLON54 AND MORTON FINE ART

ENGAGING THE STORY OF ART FOR A SUSTAINABLE AFRICAN ART MARKET: THE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN PAVILLON54 AND MORTON FINE ART

JULY 16, 2021

Amy Morton at Morton Fine Art gallery

As the one-stop global digital platform and community for art from Africa and the Diaspora, Pavillon54 always seeks to enter fruitful partnerships with artists, curators, collectors, and galleries. It became only natural, then, that for the next step of our development, we partnered with some of the most exciting international galleries that specialise in contemporary African art and share our vision for the African art market.

A couple of months ago, Pavillon54 entered a partnership with Morton Fine Art, a Washington DC gallery and curatorial group, headed by Amy Morton, that provides museum-quality art with a focus on the African Diaspora. We were instantly drawn to Morton Fine Art due to their impressive roster of artists and the diversity of their offering, whether geographically, in style, in medium, or in the range of artists themselves. What was most captivating, however, was our shared vision to go beyond the commercialisation of African art and to tell the underlying stories—an essential element to foster a sustainable development of the market.

With Pavillon54’s expertise in the African art market and digital strategy, combined with Morton Fine Art’s incredible roster of artists, finding contemporary African art that is not only aesthetically exceptional, but also enriched in narrative, becomes easier for the African art collector. Together, Pavillon54 and Morton Fine Art are making high-calibre contemporary African art more accessible, more transparent, and more meaningful.

We sat down with founder and curator Amy Morton, to learn more about how Morton Fine Art was founded, and what makes it an extraordinary destination for African art.

Artwork of Victor Ekpuk, Kesha Bruce and GA Gardner

Gallery View at Morton Fine Art, Artworks by Victor Ekpuk, Kesha Bruce and GA Gardner

P54: How did Morton Fine Art come to be? What was the driving force or need to be filled that resulted in the creation of the gallery?

AM: I founded Morton Fine Art in 2010. My first exhibition was launched early that year under Morton Fine Art’s trademark mobile gallery, a pop-up project in Washington, DC in the Penn Quarter neighborhood. It was in a former gallery space which I had leased short term, for a three-month period. I was interested in curating an exhibition that I felt positioned substantive art in the market and quickly realized I needed a permanent location to continue in that vein. I then leased a space in Adams Morgan, a quirky district in DC known for independent businesses. Morton Fine Art was in that location for 9 years before moving to a flourishing creative community in Truxton Circle at 52 O St NW, where it has been for nearly 3 years. 

From its inception, the inclusion of diverse voices, nurturing a safe space and working with an educational stance has been at the forefront of the gallery’s mission. I am firmly committed to a comfortable and intimate gallery space intended for exploration and journeying through visual art.  

P54: Why the focus on the African Diaspora?

AM: I have always been interested in and open to artwork and original voices from all over the world. Interconnectedness between people and exploring the human condition fascinates me. I value our collective overlaps and progressions toward deeper shared understandings and relationships. In the 90’s I attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, where my studies in art were informed by a strong commitment to equity and diversity. I think the combination of these personal priorities resulted in a natural inclusion of artists from the African diaspora, as well as from many other places and orientations, whose practice foregrounds pertinent, globally relevant, philosophical questions. With these values at the center of my work, Morton Fine Art’s curatorial vision has bloomed and been enriched organically.  

My vision for the gallery, as well as for my life, is to create a safe space for dialogue and the sharing of ideas. In that way, the evolution of the gallery has been very process-oriented, and not something that was artificially orchestrated or even conscious much of the time. It continues to be a growth-oriented work in progress. I studied fine art and art history and appreciate that visual art is a potent tool for highlighting issues which may otherwise be difficult for people to address. I am attracted to the intersection of art and activism, and how artwork can be an effective tool for personal introspection, interaction, dialogue and ultimately, I hope, change and growth. 

Osi Audu, Self Portrait, after Head of a Shango Staff, 2017 | Pavillon 54  Limited

 Osi Audu ‘Self Portrait, after Head of a Shango Staff’ (2017)

P54: What qualities do you see in an artist when you sign them on and how do these connect with the mission of Morton Fine Art?

AM: I usually know we are well matched right away. My artist partners are incredible at what they do! First and foremost, their creative vision and visual language inspire me on such a deep level. Examples include Osi Audu‘s philosophical exploration of “The Tangible and Intangible Self “; Victor Ekpuk‘s mining of historical narratives, the vocabulary of the contemporary African diaspora, and humanity’s connection to the sacred;  Rosemary Feit Covey‘s attention and sensitivity to the delicacy of earth and the natural world; Maliza Kiasuwa and Meron Engida‘s themes of reconciliation; and Lizette Chirrime’s interconnectivity between art practice, spirituality and healing.

Rosemary Feit Covey, Amethyst Deceivers II, 2019 | Pavillon 54 Limited

Rosemary Feit Covey ‘Amethyst Deceivers II’ (2019)

Their deep and meaningful engagement with these themes is what powers my belief in them and commitment to uplifting their voices. The artwork shown here is purely the artists’ visions, created without gallery interference. I look for long-term partnerships, so synergy is also important. The relationship needs to be trust-based and natural as we often spend years working together. These strong personal connections are important for understanding the creations themselves, allowing me to do my job better.

Victor Ekpuk - Works | Pavillon 54 Limited

 Victor Ekpuk ‘Mask Series 2’ (2018)

P54: What excites you most about the African art market, and working in this field?

AM: Learning, evolving, exploring questions and shared histories, and meeting artists with lasting substance and incredible talent—there is an abundance of all of that in the African art market. It is endless. With art, I can never be bored—either when exploring an individual piece I connect with or with creations at large. Art is a mirror, and it fascinates me to see what is revealed in a moment and how more reveals itself with time. Contemporary artists remind us of where we are, including our shortcomings and our most sacred parts. They invite us to do better.

Maliza Kiasuwa, Brown Skin 1, 2021 | Pavillon 54 Limited

Maliza Kiasuwa ‘Brown Skin 1’ (2021)

P54: What are some of Morton Fine Art’s greatest moments or achievements?

AM: First and foremost, I am proud to have such outstanding artist partners who center substantive concepts and demonstrate a mastery of medium. The artists I work with are thoughtful, tremendous and have so much to say and share! The backbone of the gallery is our partnership, as is our shared trust in each other. It is fascinating to see organic shifts and developments in their artwork and art practice, knowing their growth informs new iterations of brilliance. It is also very rewarding to witness their points of public-facing recognition, including in national and international museums and publications. 

Meron Engida - Works | Pavillon 54 Limited

Meron Engida ‘Solidarity 9’ (2020)

AM: I am personally proud of the warm vibe of the space and the maturity of conversations and experiences shared here through art. This is a gallery for everyone to explore, regardless of experience or exposure to art.  Authenticity is valued as are questions and feelings, even when layered.  In many ways it has the intimacy and hominess of a salon, and that facilitates connection with artists, collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Morton Fine Art

52 O St NW #302

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787

info@mortonfineart.com

http://www.mortonfineart.com