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The Washington Post on KATHERINE TZU-LAN MANN at the Kreeger Museum

16 Apr


The Kreeger Museum has reopened, with an art exhibition that probes the vestiges of the past

An installation view of the exhibition “Traces” at the Kreeger Museum: Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann’s “Salamander Room,” background, covers part of two walls. In the foreground are two sculptural works by Roxana Alger Geffen: “Slumped Coil,” left, and “The Cloak of Unfair Advantage.” (Greg Staley/Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann and Roxana Alger Geffen)

By Mark Jenkins

April 13, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.

The title of the exhibition “Traces” at the newly reopened Kreeger Museum suggests a collection of wisps and glimmers. In fact, the group show — originally scheduled for the fall, but delayed because of the museum’s pandemic closure — features many works that are large enough to overwhelm and even immerse, and enough of them to fill three galleries and spill onto a staircase and the lawn. Yet the pieces can be said to be traces in one sense: They contain vestiges of natural, personal and cultural history.

Aside from hailing from D.C. or nearby, the eight artists seem to share little. Their media range from painting and sculpture to video and sound, all practiced in a distinctive manner. The similarities among their work are less visual than conceptual, as curator Sarah Tanguy teases out in her essay about the collection. The artists’ “use of juxtaposition and overlap creates dramatic tension,” she writes.

The overlapping can be as anarchic as in Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann’s “Salamander Room,” a mixed-media work — part drawing, part painting — that covers one wall and part of an adjacent one, and sprawls from large sheets of paper onto the wall itself. Or it can be as tidy as in Johab Silva’s “Point A to Point B and to Point A Again,” which repeats just those two letters, in contrasting colors, across four sets of sandwiched clear-plastic panels. Where Tzu-Lan Mann’s mural was inspired partly by millennia-old Buddhist cave paintings in western China, Silva’s A’s and B’s have the bright, clean look of mid-20th century American commerce — and the pop art that both mocked and celebrated it.

Image without a caption
Rania Hassan’s “Liminality” is suspended in the Kreeger Museum’s stairwell. (Greg Staley/Rania Hassan)

The junglelike tendrils of Tzu-Lan Mann’s piece lead, symbolically if not actually, to a separate room where Brandon Morse’s computer animation sends tree branches hurtling toward the viewer. “Ambient Distress in the Thicket” is an algorithm-generated environment in which a monochromatic forest thrives and decays. It’s both an ecological alert and a visual metaphor for generative systems.

Nature motifs can take the form of the spider-like web, simultaneously delicate and imposing, that Rania Hassan has installed above the stairs that lead to the show’s basement galleries. Organic materials feature in Roxana Alger Geffen’s elaborate assemblages, although they rely more on man-made domestic objects, including clothing and furniture. Sunlight powers Billy Friebele’s “Nero Plays a Fiddle,” an outdoor sculpture made of industrial parts; its two sound-generating bits are wired to solar panels. Even Sebastian Martorana’s marble sculptures — neoclassical in technique, if not subject matter — pack an environmental message, because they’re often hewed from salvaged marble.

Martorana’s gambit is to carve soft things, with exquisite realism, from hard stone. The selection here includes gloves, draped fabric and stuffed animals, notably a seemingly well-worn bear. The Teddy is not merely a sculptor’s whimsy. Titled “Permanent Separation Anxiety,” the toy embodies the artist’s objection to the U.S. government policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the Mexican border.

That’s the show’s most up-to-date political statement but not its only one. Antonio McAfee made 3-D versions of formal photographic portraits — designed to be viewed through 1950s-style red/green glasses — that were originally compiled by W.E.B. Du Bois for a sociological exhibit of “American Negroes” at the 1900 Paris Exposition. The goal is to give the dignified historical personages “multitudes of possibilities, real and imagined,” McAfee’s statement explains. His project parallels Geffen’s, as her work “examines my family and its complicated, contradictory relationship to privilege, race and class,” according to her artist statement.

Silva’s A-to-B panels are autobiographical in their own way; they were inspired by musings on how he got to his current place in life. There’s also a history, though not a personal one, to Friebele’s contributions, which include a series of four drawings of circular patterns. These and the outdoor sculpture are very different in form, yet they have a common inspiration: a 1671 drawing of sound waves amplified from a speaking trumpet.

Friebele’s circles are etched in black ink atop mirrors, whose reflective surfaces complement the glossiness of Silva and McAfee’s nearby work. Yet the drawings themselves, and the frames of the mirrors, are funkier. Such irregularities reveal how an artist, even one whose work is machine-tooled, can leave traces of the human hand.

If you go


Kreeger Museum, 2401 Foxhall Rd. NW.

Dates: Through May 29.

Admission: Admission is by suggested donation of $10; $8 for students and seniors; free for members. Timed-entry passes, good for one 50-minute session limited to 15 visitors, are required. Masks are required for visitors ages 4 and older.

Click HERE to view available artwork by KATHERINE TZU-LAN MANN

ADIA MILLETT interviewed in Interlocutor

9 Apr


Apr 8


Visual Artists

“The Moon is Always   Full” exhibition view at Morton Fine Art in Washington DC - photo courtesy of Jarrett Hendrix
“The Moon is AlwaysFull” exhibition view at Morton Fine Art in Washington DC – photo courtesy of Jarrett Hendrix

Adia Millett, originally from Los Angeles, California received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. In 2001, she moved to New York City for the prestigious Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, followed by the Studio Museum in Harlem residency program. Millett has been a standout in numerous group exhibitions including the well-received “Greater New York” show at PS1 in Long Island City, New York and “Freestyle” at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Barbican Gallery in London; The Craft and Folk Museum in LA; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta; The Santa Monica Museum of Art; and The Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans. Millett has taught as an artist in residence at Columbia College in Chicago, UC Santa Cruz, Cooper Union in NY, and California College of the Arts. Millett currently lives and works in Oakland.

In this interview, she discusses the recent work currently on display for her solo show “The Moon is Always Full” up through April 22 at Morton Fine Art in Washington DC.

Interview by Isabel Hou

You currently have an exhibit at Morton Fine Art in Washington D.C. titled “The Moon is Always Full.” In particular, the titles of your textile works, Gold Moon and Black Moon, caught my eye. What is their significance relative to the exhibition?

Gold Moon and Black Moon were actually part of an older piece titled Beneath You. I cut that piece apart (something I often do). Structurally I wanted to take the square grid apart and construct something more organic. The process felt like I was channeling the moon as she gave birth to the embryo forms, Black Moon and Gold Moon.

Gold Moon , 2019 - 30.5 x 30.5 in - Cotton, upholstery fabric and silk
Gold Moon, 2019 – 30.5 x 30.5 in – Cotton, upholstery fabric and silk
Black Moon , 2019 - 30.5 x 30.5 in - Cotton, upholstery fabric and silk
Black Moon, 2019 – 30.5 x 30.5 in – Cotton, upholstery fabric and silk

The pieces in your exhibition are constructed with fragments “to fashion a meaning greater than its individual elements.” (Morton Fine Art, 2021) Quilt-making may be considered an act of fragmentation and construction. Was this textile medium the source of your interest in identity and collective history? Or rather, did your interest lead you to the medium?

I think our cultural histories are imbued with a foundation of craft, of distilling who we are in handmade creative objects. Here, quilting pays homage to that process while redefining how it’s used.  Identity, psychology, spirituality, nature are all reflected in my choices to challenge our visual understanding of who we are.

Your past exhibitions have been named “Infinite Edges” (Traywick Contemporary, 2019), “Breaking Patterns” (California African American Museum, 2019), and “A Matter of Time” (Galerie du Monde, 2020-21). Where does “The Moon is Always Full” fit in with them?

I write poetry and all my titles have or will eventually become the title of something I write. What all of these titles attempt to do is be broad enough that they can refer to a collective societal expansion, while simultaneously asking the viewer to examine how the title can apply to their own personal life.

There is this bright, geometric overlap and underlap in both Portal and Reflection. How do these pieces and their layered compositions contribute to the theme of your exhibition?

It’s a recognition of literal and metaphorical perspectives. We perceive shapes and colors as an indication of 3-dimensional space. The work is examining our desire to make meaning out of abstraction.

Portal,  2018 - 24 x 24 in - Acrylic on wood
Portal, 2018 – 24 x 24 in – Acrylic on wood
Reflection , 2020 - 48 x 60 in - Acrylic on wood
Reflection, 2020 – 48 x 60 in – Acrylic on wood

In the past, you have engaged with concepts of perception, perspective, and time, and have stated that your work “pays homage to the past,” but is “informed by the future.” (Morton Fine Art, 2021). Is this a concept that you find present in your own life? Or is it a commentary on something larger?

I think every artist’s work is a reflection of their lives, so our cultural pasts, our relationship to beauty, resilience, death, community, and so many other topics find their way into my work and hopefully into the minds of anyone interested in art.

You have attributed African American experiences as a source of inspiration. Can you expound on what aspects of your work pay homage to these experiences? And what do you hope to convey through these manifestations?

I am an African American. My work is inspired by my lived experience. What I hope to convey is the value of self-reflection.

Gold Roof,  2019 - 40 x 30 in - Acrylic, gold leaf and plastic on wood panel
Gold Roof, 2019 – 40 x 30 in – Acrylic, gold leaf and plastic on wood panel

What really stands out to me within your work is the dichotomy between geometry and fluidity. The bold colors and patterns in your pieces seem so free and fluid. Yet, much of your work includes neat, geometric lines and shapes. What do you hope to convey between this contrast? Or rather, do you view these elements as complementary?

It’s really great to hear that you see the patterns and colors as free and fluid. Part of my process when I am making anything is to embrace contradictions. The places where we believe things or people don’t belong together are where beauty resides.

XY Shield,  2019 - 42 x 42 in - Indigo dyed cotton, upholstery fabric, cotton and silk
XY Shield, 2019 – 42 x 42 in – Indigo dyed cotton, upholstery fabric, cotton and silk

On your site, you write that your work aims to remind viewers of the “importance of renewal and rebuilding […] through the possibility of transformative change.” Has the ever-evolving nature of identity and the human experience always been so important to you?

I don’t know. I do know that many creative people like myself grow up feeling like aliens, different than the people around them. I think that experience as a child has the ability to spark the drive to fight convention and redefine the identities that have been projected on us.

Who, or what inspires you?

Everything inspires me. Humans, nature, science fiction, music, grief, love, history, emotions, color, moments when we take risks.

OWF,  2019 - 37 x 74 in - Found fabric, wool, cotton and batton
OWF, 2019 – 37 x 74 in – Found fabric, wool, cotton and batton

As we live through a pandemic, have you thought about how the art world will change in the years to come? Do you foresee your work changing in response to this crisis?

Yes, the art world is definitely changing. Amongst other things, the pandemic has certainly woken us up. It has impacted my work, but more importantly, it has raised my desire to support other artists, to collaborate, to bring awareness to social justice issues around racism, patriarchy, prison incarceration, and the growing homeless population. I am more driven than ever to make work that is built around empathy and respect for each other and our collective consciousness. 

“The Moon is Always Full” is on display through April 22 at Morton Fine Art in Washington DC.

Click HERE to read the Interlocutor article in full.

Available Artwork by ADIA MILLETT

ADIA MILLETT reviewed in The Washington Post

7 Apr
By Mark Jenkins
April 2, 2021 at 7:00 a.m. EDT

“Reflection” (2020) by Adia Millett. 60″x48″, acrylic on panel. (Morton Fine Art)Artwork

Adia Millett

Adia Millet’s show at Morton Fine Art is divided into fabric pieces and paintings, but the two categories overlap in theme and appearance. Almost all of the works include one or more circles that represent the heavenly body invoked in the exhibition’s title, “The Moon Is Always Full.” And two of the paintings arrange scraps of color as if they were pieces of material.

Millett often begins by disassembling cloth items, with the idea of symbolically reconstructing African American experience and identity. (She also tweaks White outlooks in the show’s least colorful and only circle-less entry, “OWF,” which stands for “off-white fragility.”) The California artist has a strong sense of form but little apparent interest in sheer abstraction. “Gold Roof” is little more than a triangle, a circle and several rectangles, but these elements are transmuted into a house under a full-moon sky by deft composition and the insertion of two 3-D model windows.

Just as streamlined are “Reflection,” a landscape-like picture that seems to be as much stitched as painted, and “Portal,” in which a blue round resembles the moon behind striated clouds, but also a cell or an egg. Any of those possibilities are apt, since Millett’s essential concerns include renewal and regeneration.

Adia Millett: The Moon Is Always Full Through April 22 at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St. NW, No. 302.

Available Artwork by ADIA MILLETT

ADIA MILLETT discusses artwork in her solo “The Moon is Always Full”

25 Mar

Opens today, March 25 – April 22, 2021.

By appointment only.

(202) 628-2787 (call or text)

Video by Jarrett Hendrix

My process is informed by taking things apart, removing, replacing, cutting, pasting, sewing, and building, in order to discover the space where transitions occur and where stories of impermanence unfold. Weaving threads of African American experiences with broader ideas of identity, and collective history, my work investigates the fragile interconnectivity among all living things. Fragmented, constructed, and reassembled, I shed light on the multifaceted and complex parallels between the creative process and the nature of personal identity. My paintings feature abstracted, geometric shapes that imply movement – colorful forms expand and collapse freely among glittery backgrounds with hints of landscape and structural objects such as rooftops, windows and doors. While the textiles draw on the domestic and artistic traditions of quilt-making, they are pieced together, combining culturally diverse fabrics. While my work pays homage to the past through the use of repurposed fabrics and historical iconography, its bright atheistic imagery is informed by the future. The art reminds us of the importance of renewal and rebuilding, not only through the artistic process, but also through the possibility of transformative change. – ADIA MILLETT

MILLETT, originally from Los Angeles, California received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. In 2001, she moved to New York City for the prestigious Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, followed by the Studio Museum in Harlem residency program. Millett has been a standout in numerous group exhibitions including the well-received “Greater New York” show at PS1 in Long Island City, New York and “Freestyle” at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Barbican Gallery in London; The Craft and Folk Museum in LA; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta; The Santa Monica Museum of Art; and The Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans. Millett has taught as an artist in residence at Columbia College in Chicago, UC Santa Cruz, Cooper Union in NY, and California College of the Arts. Millett currently lives and works in Oakland. She has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2020.

Amber Robles-Gordon discusses her series “The Temples of My Familiars”

17 Mar

Video by Jarrett Hendrix

“The Temples of My Familiars” series is about the intersections between my identity, the diverse visual languages in my artwork and the narratives they reference. The title is most definitely borrowed from the 1989 Alice Walker novel, The Temple of My Familiar. A womanist narrative about several women of color and their evolutionary process to know self, their identity and their struggle for happiness within a patriarchal society. However, I chose the title because of the distinct visual reference my sculptural geometric-like renderings took on once I inverted them. They became temples, a place of spiritual practice and sacrifice in which I could place my familiars —my visual languages. A place where they could be re-rooted, re-formulated, and take on a new life.

Being an artist has facilitated a very specific type of data collection, visual documentation, analysis and a vast array of methods of self-expression and personal exploration regarding issues that concern me. During a recent journey through past work, contemplations, beginnings and endings; I encountered fragments of myself. These fragments vibrated silently, yet continuously, like piercing questions waiting to be answered. The various languages beckoned and bemoaned to be unified. Once combined, the equations gracefully revealed themselves in harmony. Each artwork, 24 x 18 in, mixed media collage, within the series begins with title “The Temples of My Familiars” and then has a distinct sub-title. -AMBER ROBLES-GORDON, 2019

Contact Morton Fine Art for available artwork by AMBER ROBLES-GORDON.


(Washington, DC b. Puerto Rico)


2011 M.F.A., Howard University, Washington, D.C.

2005 B.S. in Business Administration, Trinity College, Washington, D.C.


2021 American University, Katzen Arts Center, Washington, DC

2019 Universidad del Sagrado Corazon, San Juan, Puerto Rico 2018 Washington College, Chestertown, MD

2018 Third Eye Open, Morton Fine Art, Washington, D.C.

2017 At the Altar, Arts Center/Gallery Delaware State University, Dover, DE

2017 Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, Lancaster, PA

2012 Milked, Riverviews Art Space, Lynchberg, Virginia

2012 With Every Fiber of My Being, Honfleur Gallery, Washington, D.C.

2011 Milked, National League of American Penn Woman, Washington, D.C.

2011 Wired, Installation and Exhibit, Pleasant Plains Workshop, Washington, D.C.,

2010 Matrices of Transformation, Michael Platt Studio Gallery, Washington, D.C.

2007 Can You Free Me?, Ramee’ Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1997 The Artwork of A. Robles-Gordon, Dance Place Exhibition Space, Wash., D.C.

1995 The Art, The Brittany, Arlington, VA


Judith A. Hoffberg Archive Library, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA

Masterpiece Miniature Art Exhibition, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Capital One Bank, McLean, VA

District of Columbia’s Art Bank, Washington, DC

Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, NY

The Gautier Family Collection, Washington, DC

Department of General Services, Washington, DC

Martha’s Table, Washington, DC

Democracy Fund, Washington, DC

AMBER ROBLES-GORDON in Ahlem Baccouche and ARTNOIR’s Larry Ossei-Mensah “From: Friends, To: Friends”

5 Feb

From: Friends, To: Friends Nov 27 Part 2: On The Journey

 in article

Ahlem Baccouche in conversation with Larry Ossei-Mensah on his journey into the art world, his stance on diversity, and much more. 


Leveraging the power of art as an agent for social change and cultural transformation is the mission of ARTNOIR’s co-founder, art critic and international curator Larry Ossei-Mensah, whose latest initiative invites people to become agents of change in the art industry.  

In the first part of this interview, Larry expanded on his partnership with Artsy for the ARTNOIR From: Friends To: Friends Benefit Auction, which aimed to raise funds for the newly launched ARTNOIR Jar of Love Funda microgrant initiative intended to provide relief for artists, curators, and cultural workers of colour.  

In this second part, we discuss Larry’s journey into the art world, his views on diversity, his upcoming projects and advice on leading an authentic life.  

Ahlem Baccouche: I’m always curious about the journey that led people to their current position, as life is never a linear path. What was your journey like?  

Larry Ossei-Mensah: My starting point in terms of art and business was in high school, where I did internships at record labels like Epic and Columba Records from my junior year all the way through university. I wanted to be a record man, I wanted to be Diddy. That experience gave me my first exposure to the intersection of art and business. The art being music as a form of expression, but also music as a commodity: how it can be packaged, marketed, distributed and consumed.  

That foundationally informs my thinking. When I think about an exhibition that I’m doing, I see it like an album release. How do I build content around a show that will be different than just a press release and an email blast? A good example of that would be the Phillips Auction conversation with Tremaine Emory, we used it not only as a space to talk about art, but also social justice and other issues currently impacting society.  

I eventually realized that the music industry wasn’t for me, and worked a bit in marketing and advertising before going to Switzerland to complete a Masters at Les Roches. My mother worked in the hospitality industry for about thirty – thirty five years at the Waldorf Astoria, so there was always a romance of opening a hotel or something similar one day, as it’s an industry that I grew up in. That is something I still want to do in the long term.  

Studying at Les Roches and being exposed to a truly international student body shifted my thinking about humanity and how we engage with each other. It taught me how to really value people, relationships, and perspectives that were different from mine. Just because you have two people from the same city, like New York, doesn’t mean they’ll get on. We can have very different experiences. My time at Les Roches also afforded me an opportunity to travel and explore Europe. As a graduate student, I didn’t have a lot of discretionary income, so I found things that were free and, a lot of the time, that would be museums.  

The American education system makes you believe that there wasn’t a presence of Black people in Europe throughout history. However, by going to these museums in Europe, to a place like Florence’s Uffizi Galleries, and discovering paintings of Black people, even if they’re mixed, was mind blowing. That afro, is undeniable.  

That exposure started an inquiry into who’s telling the narrative of the Black diaspora experience? Who’s controlling the story? So much is hidden from us or recontextualized. For example, one of Sicily’s patron saint is of African descent, Saint Benedict the Black, there are murals of this guy all over Palermo. It’s not a hidden secret, but it’s not openly discussed. I began this inquiry and started taking photographs as a way to document these experiences and began to exhibit these images when I moved back to the states. I exhibited a little, but quickly realized that being a photographer wasn’t my journey. After that epiphany,  I started writing about art and that’s when I noticed that there weren’t enough platforms for artists of colour to have their work be seen, discussed and purchased.  

This was over ten years ago, before it became in vogue. The ability to recognize that and be invested in it fully has allowed me to build a lot of relationships, which was the backstory behind the foundation of ARTNOIR. Knowing artists at the beginning of their career and having a decade-long relationship with them, whether I’ve shown their art or not, provided a spark plug for rich dialogue and collaboration with these artists. Moreover, building those relationships over time helped me shift and expand my thinking about contemporary art.  

Click here to read the entire article:

Screen Shot 2020-12-03 at 10.18.35 PM.png

Temples of My Familiars R Squared Triangular Fractals, The Yin and Yang Over Color Theory by Amber Robles-Gordon. Image credit: Amber Robles-Gordon website.

 AB: What projects are you currently working on?  

LOM: I will be co-curating the 7th Athens Biennale with OMSK Social Club, which has been rescheduled for Spring 2021.  

I’m doing a show in Rome in November as part of a series of exhibitions called Parallels and Peripheries. The show in Miami included only women artists. In Detroit, we looked at the intersection of Art, Technology, and Nature. In Maryland, the theme was about migration and immigration, and it included first generation immigrant artists. The show in Rome is called Fragments and Fractals and is held at Galleria Anna Marra (a 3D viewing is available). 

We’ll be thinking about fractals as a mathematical concept, the potential to repeat infinitely, and exploring the idea of fragmentation when thinking about layered identities. As an example, I’m Black; I’m African American; I’m also Ghanaian; I’m a New Yorker; I come from a working class background; I’m a male. We try to look at the different layers that compose a person, not just from an identity standpoint, but also from a practice standpoint. 

The show includes six Black artists: Kim DacresKenturah DavisBasil KincaidNate LewisDavid Shrobe and Kennedy Yanko. They all work with different mediums such as sculpture, photography, drawing and painting. It will be the first show in Italy for some of them. Just think about the social climate in Italy, particularly for Black folks. How do we use the exhibition as a platform to key in on those things? I also highlight that the fact that we’re Black does not mean that we’re a monolith. We’re very vast and very diverse in our experiences, our thinking and our creative approach.    

Next, I have a show at the American University in 2021 with Amber Robles Gordon, an Afro Puerto Rican artist based in DC. It will be a solo show of just abstract work, which is exciting for me, because I don’t think I’ve done a solo presentation of just abstraction. So I seize this opportunity to educate myself on movements like the Washington Color School and look at artists like Alma Thomas more closely.  

It’s also interesting to mine this layer of the diasporas: so thinking about the African diaspora experience from a Latin perspective, but then also from an American perspective, because the artist grew up in the United States as well. 

Lastly, I’m toying around with the idea of writing a pocket book on my experience in the art world. I gave a lecture with Oolite Art at Anderson Ranch called “Lead with the Hustle.” I describe my journey, but also talk about things that I’ve recognized that I believe not only artists, but all people should be aware of.  

From storytelling, to relationship management, professionalism, likeability and how to operate on a professional level consistently. It’s about how to work within the art world from a business standpoint and think about storytelling through your work. What is your story? If I was doing an article on you, what would that story look like? Why do you do what you do? 

AB: Are there any artists, curators, businesses, colleagues, or organizations whose work you admire and would like to highlight?  

LOM: In terms of curators, Okwui Enwezor of course. I’m following many curators who are doing a lot of incredible work internally and externally. Among them are Meg Olni from ICA Philadelphia, Erin Christoval from the Hammer Museum and Osei Bonsu at Tate Modern.  

I like what SAVVY Contemporary is doing in Berlin. In terms of fashion, I love what Pyer Moss is doing. They just released a sneaker of which the proceeds will go towards The Innocence Projects.  

AB: Any favourite advice, resources or tips you’d like to share?  

LOM: It goes back to the pillars: really understand why it is you’ve chosen to work within the arts. I think that understanding the why, for me, informs everything else. It’s going to inform where you’ll choose to work; it’s going to inform your values. I recommend this book called Start with Why.  

Cultivate meaningful relationships. The art world in particular, is about human connection. You’ll know a lot of people, but how many of those people are meaningful relationships where you can pick up the phone and call if you have a question, or an issue. How many of those people would you invite over to your home for dinner?  

Branch out. Build a support system. This is going to be a journey and you need people from different spectrums. When we think about mentorship, it’s always kind of thinking of an old wise person, and that’s antiquated. We need to change the way we think about mentorship, as it doesn’t necessarily have to be with an older, wiser person. I think peer mentorship is just as valuable.  

In terms of books, Never Eat Alone is a great book about relationship building. Some people will call it networking, I prefer “relationships” as “networking” feels more transactional. Who Moved My Cheese is a good one to adapt to change. Collecting Contemporary by Adam Lindemann, particularly for artists who want to get a snapshot of the industry. The Hard Things About Hard Things is a business book coming from an honest perspective. Usually, when you hear about a business, you only hear about the success. You don’t hear about the pitfalls, running out of money, being broke and the resilience that it takes. Being an artist is not easy, so you need to make sure to have the tools and the support to navigate the ebbs and flows of this journey. 

And my final tip: Stay true to yourself.

Source: Tags: Larry Ossei-MensahARTNOIRAmber Robles GordonAhlem BaccoucheMadeinbedmagazinePeter Williams ExhibitionOkwui EnwezorMeg OlniErin ChristovalOsei BonsuOolite ArtAnderson RanchWashington Color SchoolAlma ThomasSotheby’s Institute of Art

Available artwork by AMBER ROBLES-GORDON

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

LISA MYERS BULMASH “The Home Inside My Head” reviewed in The Washington Post

27 Dec

Congratulations to LISA MYERS BULMASH for the rich review of her solo exhibition “The Home Inside My Head” in today’s print edition of The Washington Post by Mark Jenkins. (Arts & Style Section 12/27/20)

Lisa Myers Bulmash

Also spurred by pandemic-era exile from everyday life, Lisa Myers Bulmash conceived a Morton Fine Art show “The Home Inside My Head”. The Seattle artist combines found and personal objects into 3-D collages that conjure both African American history and her family’s own story. The pieces juggle the antiquarian and the immediate to express what Bulmash’s statement calls “a Black and female viewpoint”.

One series, “Rare & Exquisite,” places oversize models of endangered butterflies atop maps of regions of the United States collaged from Colonial-era (and thus not entirely reliable) charts. The effect is to correlate the threatened species — affixed with heavy railroad spikes that evoke hard labor –with Black people whose place in this country has always been at risk.

Examples of another antique tool, the wooden washboard, serve as frames in the “Bought and Paid For” series. The washboards hold books and ovals made of twine, which enclose overlapping transparencies of family photos. The pictures depict various old structures, including houses, and children at play. Again, Bulmash contrasts rough materials with fragile beings.

It seems apt that another piece is based on a torn piece of old sheet music repaired by kintsugi, the Japanese technique of using gold to both accentuate and exalt the cracks in a broken vessel. Bulmash’s assemblages can be seen as a bid to mend history.

Click HERE to read the review in full.

On view by appointment at Morton Fine Art through January 6th, 2021. Located at 52 O St NW #302, Washington, DC 20001.

(202) 628-2787 (text or call)

Available Artwork by LISA MYERS BULMASH

VONN SUMNER in “Wayne Thiebaud Influencer: A New Generation” on view January – June 2021 at Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art

26 Oct

Wayne Thiebaud Influencer: A New Generation

The profound influence of Wayne Thiebaud on a new generation of artists is front and center in this celebration of the longtime UC Davis art professor’s centennial. Pairings explore how Thiebaud forecast the future of painting through his personal journey to find meaning and reinvention in the medium’s history in ways that are both current and timeless. Works by contemporary artists who have been inspired by Thiebaud as a fellow painter as well as those of former students reveal unexpected connections and sources of inspiration.

Curators: Rachel Teagle and Susie Kantor

An exhibition featuring
Andrea Bowers, Julie Bozzi (’74, MFA ’76), Christopher Brown (MFA ’76), Robert Colescott, Gene Cooper, Richard Crozier (MFA ’74), Fredric Hope, Alex Israel, Grace Munakata (’80, MFA ’85), Bruce Nauman (MA, ’66), Jason Stopa, Vonn Cummings Sumner (’98, MFA ’00), Ann Harrold Taylor (MFA ’85), Michael Tompkins (’81, MFA ’83), Clay Vorhes, Patricia Wall (’72), Jonas Wood and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

On view January 31–June 13, 2021

Available Artwork by VONN SUMNER

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

(202) 628-2787 (text or call)

Introducing Seattle-based abstract artist LIZ TRAN

19 Oct

Liz Tran represented by Morton Fine Art

Liz Tran

Channeling subjects such as dream imagery, imagined landscapes, geodes, outer space and The Big Bang, LIZ TRAN explores the shapes of nature, with the infusion of fantastical, pulsing synthetic hues. The psychedelic visuals are harvested from the place where inner-verse meets outer-verse, where optical misfires combine with a vacuum pull moving at the speed of light. Through painting, sculpture and installation, she creates atmospheres that aim to activate.

Public collections of Tran’s work include the City of Seattle’s Portable Works Collection, Capital One, Vulcan Inc., Baer Art Center, Camac Art Centre, The El Paso Children’s Hospital, Harborview Medical Center, The King County Public Art Collection and The Child Center. Tran has completed multiple special projects and installations, including work for VH1Save the Music Foundation, The Upstream Music Fest, The Seattle Art Museum, The Brain Project Toronto, Public Art at The Aqua Art Fair Miami and Vulcan Inc.

She has been awarded multiple fellowships and grants; including a Grant for Artist Projects (GAP) from Artist Trust, Clowes Fellowship for residency at the Vermont Studio Center, the Nellie Cornish Scholarship and residency at The Camac Art Centre in France, The Baer Art Center in Iceland, Jentel, Millay Colony for the Arts and The Center for Contemporary Printmaking. She resides in Seattle, WA. She has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2020.


Baby Father, 2019,mixed media on panel,24 x 24 in,$1,800
Cosmic Circle 4, 2020,mixed media on panel,24 x 24 in,$1,600
Cosmic Circle 3, 2020,mixed media on panel,24 x 24 in,$1,600

Cosmic Circle 2, 2020,mixed media on panel,24 x 24 in,$1,600
Cosmic Circle 1, 2020,mixed media on panel,24 x 24 in,$1,600
Pink Out, 2019,mixed media on panel,30 x 24 in,$1,800
Ornament 7, 2016,mixed media on panel,24 x 24 in,$1,600
Ornament 15, 2016, mixed media on panel,24 x 24 in,$1,600

MERON ENGIDA’s solo exhibition “Solidarity” reviewed in Washington Post

17 Oct

Meron Engida

By Mark Jenkins Oct. 16, 2020 at 7:00 a.m. EDT

Color, pattern and family are what Ethiopia-bred D.C. painter Meron Engida remembers about her homeland. Or at least that’s what the neo-expressionist emphasizes in “Solidarity” at Morton Fine Art, her first U.S. solo show. Most of Engida’s canvases are crowded with women in domestic scenes, their faces rendered in simple black lines, except for the bright red oblongs that often represent lips. Children appear in many of the vignettes, and one of the few pictures that depicts just two people shows a mother and infant. It’s a self-portrait, but then that’s essentially what all these paintings are.AD

The circles, florals and zigzags that decorate their clothing also appear around and atop the figures, either painted or incised into the pigment, merging subject and embellishment. That unity suggests the influence of fabric design, as does the flatness of Engida’s style. Bright reds and blues punctuate the compositions, but the dominant tones are earthy. The tans and browns express a range of skin tones in ethnically diverse Ethiopia. In Engida’s stylized vision of that country, the landscape is primarily human.

Meron Engida: Solidarity Through Oct. 28 at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St. NW, No. 302. Open by appointment.

Available Artwork by MERON ENGIDA