MALIZA KIASUWA featured in Metal Magazine

8 Jun

Maliza Kiasuwa – Bound by historyWords by Emma Smit

MALIZA KIASUWA BOUND BY HISTORY

Morton Fine Art in Washington D.C. is featuring twenty-one works for the exhibit titled, Pride and Origins, by Kenyan-based artist Maliza Kiasuwa. This display is on view until June 30, 2021, and it showcases Kiasuwa’s investigations about the ongoing disproportionate exchanges between Africa and the Western world. Her pictorial symphonies are deeply rooted in Kenya’s cultural, social, and political context, but more generally of Africa and the modern world.

As a visual artist of European and African origin, Kiasuwa’s art transforms an isolated piece of unearthed material into an arrangement of personal narratives that tell the tales of her panoptic perspective and her own experience of the expression ‘double belonging,’ and of being othered. She blends handcrafted materials from Japan with found objects from around her farm on Lake Naivasha.

From mesh detailing, delicate embroidery and a foray of varied kinds of paper, she highlights the interconnectedness of the post-colonial landscape and its consumerist society. Transfiguring their meaning as separate beings, they lay in harmony as potential space for reconciliation once positioned together.
Maliza Kiasuwa’s exhibition Pride and Origins is now on view at Morton Fine Art in Washington D.C. until June 30.Common History 2, 2021Incomplete 1, 2021Imperfections, 2021Common History 4, 2021Common History 3, 2021Common History 1, 2021

Words
Emma Smit
Images Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

Available Artwork by MALIZA KIASUWA

“The Pride of Origins” – A solo exhibition of collage and fiber art by Kenya-based MALIZA KIASUWA

7 Jun

The Pride of Origins

A solo exhibition of collage and fiber art by MALIZA KIASUWA

June 2 – June 30, 2021

Video by Jarrett Hendrix

Contact the gallery for private viewing appointment, price list, additional information and acquisition.

(202) 628-2787 (call or text)

info@mortonfineart.com

Featuring twenty-one works by the artist, The Pride of Origins recreates the precarious and ever-evolving equilibrium between the handmade and the manufactured through the juxtaposition of material. Underscoring the cultural and commercial exchange between continents, Kiasuwa’s technically masterful works explore the ironies of post-colonial politics and invent new futures through imbrication, embroidery, and the combination of heterogenous objects. Pride of Origins will be on view from June 2 – June 30, 2021.

Kiasuwa’s constructions are deeply rooted in the cultural, social, and political context of Kenya, but more generally of Africa and the world. Combining handmade materials from Japan with found objects from around her farm on Lake Naivasha, in the heart of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, Kiasuwa embraces her chosen material’s earlier character and vocabulary, but transfigures their context by sewing, stitching and mending to produce unexpected narratives and representations of society, events, and global issues. As a visual artist of European and African descent, Kiasuwa brings a panoptic perspective to her border-crossing work, which regards the coexistence of two worlds as an endless source of inspiration, and a potential space for reconciliation.

“My sculptures and collages are made of bits and pieces that I collect during my daily expeditions: cotton threads, handmade ropes made of straw or rubber, plastic bags stranded on the lake shore,” said visual artist Maliza Kiasuwa. “These materials are representative of culture and history in the context of the global flow of goods, especially in terms of how their utility values shift over time. Sometimes I combine local materials with handmade fabrics such as Japanese Washi paper. I like to blend materials which don’t belong together.”

Presenting all new work from 2021, Pride of Origins unveils recent developments in Kiasuwa’s practice, which is an ongoing examination of her identity as a woman of both African and European descent, scrutinizing the meaning of duality and otherness. The very distinct, but sometimes rival, traditions of local culture and the Church similarly ungird the artist’s exploration of a “double belonging.” Pride of Origin honors the raw, natural beauty of the artist’s environment, while also challenging assumptions of value in material culture to highlight the interconnectedness of the post-colonial landscape and its inheritance of consumer society.

About MALIZA KIASUWA:

Maliza Kiasuwa, born in 1975, is a visual artist of European and African descent. She lives and works in Kenya. She creates works with stimulating and eclectic elements celebrating Africa’s mystic power of nature by using raw materials and traditional symbols of energy that flow through the veins of the continent. She transforms everyday articles by combining reductive methods of shredding and twisting with constructive processes of tying, weaving, stitching and dyeing. The process is fluid, focused and becomes a meditation. Maliza Kiasuwa has exhibited in Kenya, Switzerland, Italy, England and the United States. She has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2021.

About MORTON FINE ART:

Founded in 2010 in Washington, DC by curator Amy Morton, Morton Fine Art (MFA) is a fine art gallery and curatorial group that collaborates with art collectors and visual artists to inspire fresh ways of acquiring contemporary art. Firmly committed to the belief that art collecting can be cultivated through an educational stance, MFA’s mission is to provide accessibility to museum-quality contemporary art through a combination of substantive exhibitions and a welcoming platform for dialogue and exchange of original voice. Morton Fine Art specializes in a stellar roster of nationally and internationally renowned artists as well as has an additional focus on artwork of the African Diaspora.

Morton Fine Art

52 O St NW #302

Washington, DC 20001

COVID-19 protocol: By appointment. Mask required. Contact the gallery for supplementary artwork documentation such as detail images and short videos. Safe, no contact door to door delivery available. Shipping nationally and internationally.

Available Artwork by MALIZA KIASUWA

NATHANIEL DONNETT in VMFA’s “The Dirty South” exhibition. Curated by Valerie Cassel Oliver

4 Jun

AT THE MUSEUM

The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse

MAY 22, 2021 – SEPTEMBER 6, 2021

The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse, organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, investigates the aesthetic impulses of early 20th-century Black culture that have proved ubiquitous to the southern region of the United States. The exhibition chronicles the pervasive sonic and visual parallels that have served to shape the contemporary landscape, and looks deeply into the frameworks of landscape, religion, and the Black body—deep meditative repositories of thought and expression. Within the visual expression, assemblage, collage, appropriation, and sonic transference are explored as deeply connected to music tradition. The visual expression of the African American South along with the Black sonic culture are overlooked tributaries to the development of art in the United States and serve as interlocutors of American modernism. This exhibition looks to the contributions of artists, academically trained as well as those who were relegated to the margins as “outsiders,” to uncover the foundational aesthetics that gave rise to the shaping of our contemporary expression.

Coronation Theme: Organon, 2008, Nadine Robinson (American, born England, 1968), speakers, sound system, mixed media. High Museum of Art, Atlanta, given by John F. Wieland Jr. in memory of Marion Hill, 2008.175. Image: © Nadine Robinson

Coronation Theme: Organon, 2008, Nadine Robinson (American, born England, 1968), speakers, sound system, mixed media. High Museum of Art, Atlanta, given by John F. Wieland Jr. in memory of Marion Hill, 2008.175. Image: © Nadine Robinson

Curated by Valerie Cassel Oliver, VMFA’s Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, the groundbreaking exhibition explores the legacies of traditional southern aesthetics in contemporary culture and features multiple generations of artists working in a variety of genres. Among those featured in the exhibition are Thornton Dial, Allison Janae Hamilton, Arthur Jafa, Jason Moran, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Kara Walker, William Edmondson, and many others. Inherent to this discourse is the rise of southern hip-hop. The exhibition’s presentation of visual and sonic culture looks to contemporary southern hip-hop as a portal into the roots and aesthetic legacies that have long been acknowledged as “Southern” in culture, philosophical thought, and expression.

In addition to the music, the exhibition features the contemporary material culture that emerges in its wake, such as “grillz” worn as body adornment and bodily extensions such as SLAB(s) (an acronym for slow, low and banging). In highlighting the significance of car culture, the museum has commissioned a SLAB by Richard “Fiend” Jones. At its essence, southern car culture, showcases the trajectory of contemporary assemblage often highlighted in southern musical expression. Other such aspects are explored across genres over the course of a century. Beginning in the 1920s with jazz and blues, the exhibition interweaves parallels of visual and sonic culture and highlights each movement with the work of contemporary artists, creating a bridge between what has long been divided between “high” and “low” cultures. The exhibition features commercial videos and personal effects of some of the music industry’s most iconic artists—from Bo Diddley to Cee Lo Green.

From Asterisks in Dockery, 2012, Rodney McMillian (American, born 1969), vinyl, thread, wood, paint, light bulb. Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles. Image: © Robert Wedemeyer

From Asterisks in Dockery, 2012, Rodney McMillian (American, born 1969), vinyl, thread, wood, paint, light bulb. Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles. Image: © Robert Wedemeyer

Ultimately, The Dirty South creates a meta-understanding of southern expression—as personified in the visual arts, material culture, and music—as an extension of America’s first conceptual artists, those of African descent. The exhibition traces across time and history, the indelible imprint of this legacy as seen through the visual and sonic culture of today.

Cassel Oliver is also the editor of the companion publication, which will function as an essential reader on Black material and sonic culture and demonstrate its impact on contemporary art from the 1950s to the present. Featuring an anthology of critical essays by scholars such as Fred Moten, Anthony Pinn, Regina Bradley, Rhea Combs, and Guthrie Ramsey, the illustrated catalogue will document works in the exhibition as well as artists’ biographies and a chronology of iconic moments that have shaped the Black presence in the South.

VMFA has also commissioned an LP by Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky aka That Subliminal Kid for the exhibition.

NATHANIEL DONNETT, I looked over Jordan and what did I see; a band of angels coming after me, 2019,
reclaimed wood, roof shingles, nails, light source, machete, glass, house paint

NATHANIEL DONNETT, I looked over Jordan and what did I see; a band of angels coming after me, 2019,
reclaimed wood, roof shingles, nails, light source, machete, glass, house paint

Available Artwork by NATHANIEL DONNETT

MALIZA KIASUWA featured in Business Daily

3 Jun
ART

Artist’s wall hanging get space in UK, US galleries

FRIDAY MAY 28 2021

By MARGARETTA WA GACHERU

Coincidentally, Maliza Kiasuwa has two solo exhibitions going on simultaneously, one in London, the other in Washington DC. Meanwhile, she still has her art at Circle Art Gallery in Nairobi where the curator of Morton Fine Art Gallery, Amy Morton is giving the Belgian-Congolese artist her first Washington DC solo show from June 2 to 22.

“Amy found my work first on Instagram, which led her to Circle Art,” recalls Maliza who has had shows at Circle gallery and Alliance Francaise since she first came to Kenya with her family in early 2013.

Speaking from her farm in Naivasha where she has been fortunate to live through the Covid-19 lockdown amidst the quiet of nature, Maliza says she has pondered many things this past year, everything from the virus, racism, to pandemic fears.

The result has been a rich outpouring of artworks, 16 of which are in London at her Ancestry exhibition at the Sulger-Buel Gallery, and 21 in the Morton Gallery in DC.

“Both are entitled ‘The Pride of Origin’ but the London show focuses more on our ‘Ancestry’, while the DC exhibition is slightly more abstract,” says the artist.

The shows have a great deal in common. Both use materials that are either recycled, organic, or handmade like the Washi paper from Japan and the homemade paper that she has made herself.

And both reflect the issue of identity in ways that compel us to consider how clashing cultures, customs, convictions, and even colours can be reconciled.

“Coming from a mixed background myself, I want my children to be proud of their ancestry, their identity,” says Maliza who admits she does not classify herself as either/or European or African, since she is both.

Seeing herself as essentially an embodiment of reconciliation, she hopes that by stitching, weaving, and blending contrasting elements, her art can reveal the beauty of merger.

Yet her two exhibitions are quite different despite their shared theme, use of mixed media and mutual forms are given that most of the works are collages.

Nonetheless, she also has several three-dimensional pieces in Washington. They include her kimono-like wall-hanging entitled ‘Imperfections’, made with Washi and handmade papers, gold threads, and assorted stitched fabrics.

I found the London show both ironic and amusing while her Washington DC one is more cerebral, organic, and abstract. What is marvellous about many of the pieces up at Sulger-Buel until mid-June is the self-mockery of works like ‘The Proud of Origins Collection I and III.’

Both pieces feature engraved portraits of her Swiss spouse’s distant relations that she found in a family attic and brought back to Africa like other ‘found objects’ she picks up during her walks around Lake Naivasha and then employs in her art.

Maliza Kiasuwa’s ‘Imperfections’ artwork at the Morton Art Gallery in Washington DC, on June 2, 2021. PHOTO | POOL

It was on top of these 18th Century images that Maliza superimposes West African masks. It is as if she is making good fun not just with her people but with European colonial culture that she feels has to embrace or at least accept the reality of African culture, whether they like it or not.

The other evidence that Maliza intends for her art to make a power statement about the equal footing that African and European cultures share is contained in her two self-portraits, one in either show.

Both blend black and white fabrics, although in London she weaves in more tweed while in Washington DC she uses more hessian.

But both use the same photograph, the artist’s mug shot, looking quite stern. The big difference is the crown worn by this dreadlocked lady on which is her regal logo, Z, short for Zaire, her original African homeland.

One might have expected the artist to be at the London exhibition. But after placing African masks (the kind Picasso and Matisse adored) over those European faces, the sensibility of her show might have shifted from being ironic and witty to abusive and easily misunderstood.

The London show has several self-portraits of Maliza although they are understated with Africanised ‘crowns’ made of animal skin or plastic fishnet mesh mixed with organic fabrics.

The handmade and the manufactured stand side-by-side in Maliza’s art. Be it black and white, realistic and abstract, dynastic and libertarian; or even bourgeois and peasant, in Maliza’s world, the time for reconciliation has come, not through wars but art.

Available Artwork by MALIZA KIASUWA

MALIZA KIASUWA’s solo picked as “Best Gallery Exhibitions Summer 2021” by Observer

1 Jun

Best Gallery Exhibitions Summer 2021, From Salon 94 to Nancy Hoffman Gallery

By Erin Taylor • 06/01/21 11:59am

Welcome to Observer’s 2021 Summer Arts & Entertainment Preview, your full guide to the best the warmer months have to offer. The finest TV, movies, dance, opera, streaming theater, the visual arts and literature this season await you.

As the art world speeds to reopen in the midst of vaccinations happening nationwide, it seems that this summer will be the summer of the gallery. Gallery exhibitions, both solo and group, have always held a special place in the arts world as a place to discover emerging artists as well as appreciate long-term art world darlings. Summer 2021 across the country galleries open (or continue business as usual in the case of some) desiring a robust return of visitors to the art we love. It is of course, dizzying in a world of so much artistic talent to choose what gallery shows you wouldn’t want to miss yet we found a way.

The Pride of Origins” works by Maliza Kiasuwa in DC at Morton Fine Art (June 2 – June 30)

Kenyan artist Maliza Kiasuwa’s “The Pride of Origins” opens June 2nd at Morton Fine Art, featuring delicate mixed-media works made up of “bits and pieces” the artist collects during her daily walks. Combining traditional cultural methods of textile making with new techniques of mixed-media, Kiasuwa tackles through her work the relationship between globalization and the art world; the west and Africa; and the relationship we all have to the raw materials that make up the objects we use daily. Only showing throughout June, gallery goers in Washington D.C. won’t want to miss taking in Kiasuwa’s complex and important works. 

Click HERE to read the article in full.

Available Artwork by MALIZA KIASUWA.

LIZ TRAN featured in Create! Magazine

28 May

0May 27

Liz Tran’s Solo Exhibition At Morton Fine Art: Abstract Artwork Inspired By Rorschach Test Explores Mental Health, Perception, And Subjectivity

Liz Tran, Ornament 7 (2016), 24 x 24 in, Mixed media on panel, Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

Liz Tran, Ornament 7 (2016), 24 x 24 in, Mixed media on panel, Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

Morton Fine Art’s most recent solo exhibition presents new mixed-media works by Seattle-based artist Liz Tran. Bringing together the visual arts and psychology, The Webs Installed by Our Dreams contemplates the relationship between abstraction and personal perception. The exhibition is inspired by early memories of the artist being administered the Rorschach test, a psychological evaluation of mental health and trauma through associative responses to inkblots. Through Tran’s imagination, these monochromatic inkblot prints are transformed into a world of vibrant, technicolor panels that explore the nature of viewer subjectivity.

Featuring work from her Mirror and Cosmic Circle series, Tran creates canvases with explosions of colorful dots, circles, blots, and splashes that accumulate on the panel and create a thickened impasto. Some symmetrical–like a Rorschach print–and others more liberally abstracted, Tran’s works challenge the notion of a correct way to view art. Like the well-known psychological test, Tran’s art performs an introspective function in which the viewer’s interpretation is self-reflexive and can facilitate self-knowledge.

Liz Tran, Cosmic Circle 2 (2020), 24 x 24 in, Mixed media on panel, Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

Liz Tran, Cosmic Circle 2 (2020), 24 x 24 in, Mixed media on panel, Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

“As I found myself delving into the history of my own mental health, I began to simultaneously study perception and subjectivity both in visual art and psychology,” said artist Liz Tran. “What do we bring to what we see? The viewer’s experience of my work is completely different than my own, yet that experience is equally valid. Is what we see simply a reflection of our self?”

Opening the door into a meditative and healing atmosphere, The Webs Installed by Our Dreams actively encourages personal interpretation and projections of meaning. Through a form of abstraction that combines precision and instinct, Tran’s joyful works imagine dreamlike surfaces to question the nature of abstraction and our responses to visual stimuli, whether that be art on the white walls of a gallery or observations of planets and stars circling overhead.

Liz Tran, Ornament 15 (2016), 24 x 24 in, Mixed media on panel, Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art
Liz Tran, Ornament 15 (2016), 24 x 24 in, Mixed media on panel, Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art
Liz Tran
Liz Tran
Liz Tran, Ornament 7 (2016), 24 x 24 in, Mixed media on panel, Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art
Liz Tran, Ornament 7 (2016), 24 x 24 in, Mixed media on panel, Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

Morton Fine Art’s most recent solo exhibition presents new mixed-media works by Seattle-based artist Liz Tran. Bringing together the visual arts and psychology, The Webs Installed by Our Dreams contemplates the relationship between abstraction and personal perception. The exhibition is inspired by early memories of the artist being administered the Rorschach test, a psychological evaluation of mental health and trauma through associative responses to inkblots. Through Tran’s imagination, these monochromatic inkblot prints are transformed into a world of vibrant, technicolor panels that explore the nature of viewer subjectivity.

Featuring work from her Mirror and Cosmic Circle series, Tran creates canvases with explosions of colorful dots, circles, blots, and splashes that accumulate on the panel and create a thickened impasto. Some symmetrical–like a Rorschach print–and others more liberally abstracted, Tran’s works challenge the notion of a correct way to view art. Like the well-known psychological test, Tran’s art performs an introspective function in which the viewer’s interpretation is self-reflexive and can facilitate self-knowledge.

Liz Tran, Cosmic Circle 2 (2020), 24 x 24 in, Mixed media on panel, Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art
Liz Tran, Cosmic Circle 2 (2020), 24 x 24 in, Mixed media on panel, Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

“As I found myself delving into the history of my own mental health, I began to simultaneously study perception and subjectivity both in visual art and psychology,” said artist Liz Tran. “What do we bring to what we see? The viewer’s experience of my work is completely different than my own, yet that experience is equally valid. Is what we see simply a reflection of our self?”

Opening the door into a meditative and healing atmosphere, The Webs Installed by Our Dreams actively encourages personal interpretation and projections of meaning. Through a form of abstraction that combines precision and instinct, Tran’s joyful works imagine dreamlike surfaces to question the nature of abstraction and our responses to visual stimuli, whether that be art on the white walls of a gallery or observations of planets and stars circling overhead.

Liz Tran, Ornament 15 (2016), 24 x 24 in, Mixed media on panel, Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art
Liz Tran, Ornament 15 (2016), 24 x 24 in, Mixed media on panel, Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art
Liz Tran
Liz Tran

Liz Tran Artist Biography

Channeling subjects such as dream imagery, imagined landscapes, geodes, outer space and The Big Bang, Tran explores the shapes of nature, with the infusion of fantastical, pulsing synthetic hues. 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.

Liz Tran, Mirror 32 (2020), 24 x 18 in, Mixed media on panel, Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

Liz Tran, Mirror 32 (2020), 24 x 18 in, Mixed media on panel, Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

About Morton Fine Art

Founded in 2010 in Washington, DC by curator Amy Morton, Morton Fine Art (MFA) is a fine art gallery and curatorial group that collaborates with art collectors and visual artists to inspire fresh ways of acquiring contemporary art. Firmly committed to the belief that art collecting can be cultivated through an educational stance, MFA’s mission is to provide accessibility to museum-quality contemporary art through a combination of substantive exhibitions and a welcoming platform for dialogue and exchange of original voice. Morton Fine Art specializes in a stellar roster of nationally and internationally renowned artists as well as has an additional focus on artwork of the African Diaspora. Morton Fine Art founded the trademark *a pop-up project in 2010. *a pop-up project is MFA’s mobile gallery component which hosts temporary curated exhibitions nationally.

Alicia Puig

ArtArticlesExhibitions

Available Artwork by LIZ TRAN

ADIA MILLETT featured in Cultured Mag

27 May
ART
FIVE TEXTILE ARTISTS EXPLORING CONTEMPORARY QUILTING
KENDRA WALKER
05.26.2021
BZ-LM32178 a vivid imagination hr

African American quilting dates to the near origin of America itself. Aside from utilitarian purposes, quilt patterns recorded events such as births and marriages, signified different tribes and spiritual practices and allowed enslaved people to preserve their heritages and cultural traditions. Historically, Black women with the skill set would sew and quilt on plantations for wealthy households. However, the quilts that they made for white households followed classical European patterns and were very different from the quilts that they designed for themselves.

The domestic origin of textile work has contributed to slower acknowledgement of the medium as a fine art to be studied, visually critiqued and considered seriously. However, with their own practices, artists such as Harriet Powers, and more recently, Michael A. Cummings and Faith Ringgold, have paved a way for contemporary Black textile artists, and helped raise the art world profile of work in fabric. In the same steadfast spirit of innovation, today, a new crew of textile talents is pushing the boundaries of what quilting can be, drawing on its cultural history to tell stories both present and future.

Contemporary Quilting woman

BISA BUTLER, RACISM IS SO AMERICAN THAT WHEN YOU PROTEST IT PEOPLE THINK YOU ARE PROTESTING AMERICA, 2021. PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN BUTLER.

Bisa Butler

Bisa Butler uses quilting to set the record straight. Through portraiture of groups or individual figures, she creates art that shows the Black community in a positive light, projecting how Black people want to be seen in the face of a constant media barrage of negative images. Working in a variety of materials, the artist’s large-scale pieces sit intentionally at eye level or higher when viewed on a wall, imposing equality of subject and viewer. Their references, however, are a bit of home: illusions to family photo albums and the use of familiar fabrics give her work an approachable nature.

contemporary Quilting crows

MICHAEL C. THORPE, NEGRO CROWS, 2021. PHOTOGRAPHY BY PHILIPP J. HOFFMANN.

Michael C. Thorpe

In his body of work, Michael C. Thorpe explores feelings of joy and happiness as a Black man. Using fabric and thread, his quilted “paintings” are geometrical and pieced together like a puzzle. Thorpe intentionally depicts ordinary scenes or incorporates familiar iconography to appreciate the beauty in mundane parts of life. Using a variety of bright colors and cartoon style characters, he strives to make serious playful work, tackling social issues such as racism, housing disparities and capitalism. He questions what it means to be a Black man working in textiles and wants his work to show that anything is Black art, not just representational work.

Quilt with woman on bed

BILLIE ZANGEWA, AN ANGEL AT MY BEDSIDE, 2020. PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY THE ARTIST AND LEHMANN MAUPIN, NEW YORK, HONG KONG, SEOUL, AND LONDON.

Billie Zangewa

Billie Zangewa works with raw silk to explore identity, the Black femme form and gendered sociopolitical issues. Analyzing the parallels between femininity, motherhood and the home, Zangewa’s tapestries depict the work done by women that is often overlooked or undervalued. Her intimate portraits aim to confront historical stereotypes, gendered labor roles and racial prejudice as they illustrate universal experiences and illuminate what visualization of the female gaze, through self-portraiture, could look like.

Quilt of young girl tying shoe, pattern background

BEVERLY Y. SMITH, RITE OF PASSAGE, 2020. PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF THE ARTIST.

Beverly Y. Smith

Beverly Y. Smith’s quilts combine traditional and repurposed fabrics to tell stories, address taboos and illuminate controversial issues from the Antebellum South. Her figures are inspired by photographs of close family members, friends and other people of personal importance in her life. Smith acknowledges that fabrics can hold family truths from past generations and uses her quilts to connect with her ancestors and honor her southern roots.

contemporary Quilting with gold moon on right side

ADIA MILLETT, GOLD MOON, 2020. PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND MORTON FINE ART.

Adia Millett

Inspired by life’s unknowns, textile artist Adia Millett incorporates ideas of identity, African American history and literature and rebuilding through transformative change in her work. Featuring abstracted, geometric shapes that suggest movement, her pieces honor the past through their use of repurposed fabrics, clothes and sheets, materials that help create our identities, our experiences and our culture. Acknowledging the previous history of each item, Millett pieces them together to make a new body of work. Her art underscores the importance of renewal and encourages viewers to embrace the space where transitions occur and project their own experiences onto her work.

Craving more culture? Sign up to receive the Cultured newsletter, a biweekly guide to what’s new and what’s next in art, architecture, design and more.

Click here to read the article in full at culturedmag.com

Available Artwork by ADIA MILLETT

LIZ TRAN reviewed in The Washington Post

26 May

“Mirror Three” by Liz Tran combines drips, spatters and ink on wooden panels with equal measures of abandon and precision. (Morton Fine Art)

Liz Tran

by Mark Jenkins,

May 21, 2021 at 7:00 a.m. EDT

Seattle artist Liz Tran drips and spatters candy-colored paint and ink on wooden panels with equal measures of abandon and precision. The abstract pictures in her Morton Fine Art show, “The Webs Installed by Our Dreams,” offer vigorous spontaneity and robust compositions, the latter often inspired by Rorschach test inkblots administered to her when she was a child. Yet minor tweaks to Tran’s formula yield very different effects.

Most of the paintings are rectangular and rendered on white backdrops. Even the loosest of them seem focused on a middle point, but that centeredness is accentuated in the two pictures on circular panels. Adding a colored background, especially the black of “Ornament 7,” also makes Tran’s free gestures more cohesive. So does moving the pictorial activity to the top of the frame in “Bluescape.”

One other painting offers a fruitful variation. “Big Bang 3” is hardly out of place in this selection, but its oscillating, concentric forms suggest something quite different from a Rorschach test inkblot: a Hindu or Buddhist mandala. Rather than one person’s untidy reveries, the picture evokes an orderly cosmos.

Liz Tran: The Webs Installed by Our Dreams Through May 27 at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St. NW, No. 302. Open by appointment.

Available Artwork by LIZ TRAN

New Artwork by MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER

20 May

Morton Fine Art is pleased to announce the much-anticipated arrival of three new fine liner pen drawings by artist MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER.  He continues to push his medium forward integrating layers of watercolor, ink and hand stitching.  Among some influences he has cited is W.E.B. DuBois’ “Double Consciousness” theory where BOOKER “highlights a space of vulnerability that exists like a flickering candlelight in the wind, fighting for survival.”

Please be in touch regarding viewing by appointment or additional supplementary images or short videos.

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

(202) 628-2787 (call or text)

info@mortonfineart.com

http://www.mortonfineart.com

Michael Andrew Booker
Hunting Party, 2020
Fineliner pen, watercolor, and ink on paper
30 x 22 in

Michael Andrew Booker
Acknowledgment, 2020
Fine liner pen and watercolor on paper
31 x 25 in
Michael Andrew Booker
Unwritten, 2020
Fineliner Pen, Watercolor, Doily, and Hand Stitching on Paper and Yupo
34 x 25 in

Available artwork by MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER

LIZ TRAN’s solo “The Webs Installed by Our Dreams” at Morton Fine Art

4 May

The Webs Installed by Our Dreams

A solo exhibition of mixed media artwork by LIZ TRAN

April 29 – May 27, 2021

Video credit: Jarrett Hendrix

Contact the gallery for private viewing appointment, price list, additional information and acquisition. (202) 628-2787 (call or text) info@mortonfineart.com

Available artwork by LIZ TRAN

About The Webs Installed by Our Dreams:

The Webs Installed by Our Dreams, is inspired by LIZ TRAN’s early memories of being administered the Rorschach test, a psychological evaluation of mental health and trauma through associative responses to inkblots. Through Tran’s imagination, these monochromatic inkblot prints are transformed into a world of vibrant, technicolor panels that explore the nature of viewer subjectivity. The Webs Installed by Our Dreams will be on view from April 29 – May 27, 2021. Featuring work from her Mirror and Cosmic Circle series, Tran creates canvases with explosions of colorful dots, circles, blots, and splashes that accumulate on the panel and create a thickened impasto. Some symmetrical–like a Rorschach print–and others more liberally abstracted, Tran’s works challenge the notion of a correct way to view art. Like the well-known psychological test, Tran’s art performs an introspective function in which the viewer’s interpretation is self-reflexive and can facilitate self-knowledge.

“As I found myself delving into the history of my own mental health, I began to simultaneously study perception and subjectivity both in visual art and psychology,” said artist Liz Tran. “What do we bring to what we see? The viewer’s experience of my work is completely different than my own, yet that experience is equally valid. Is what we see simply a reflection of our self?”

Opening the door into a meditative and healing atmosphere, The Webs Installed by Our Dreams actively encourages personal interpretation and projections of meaning. Through a form of abstraction that combines precision and instinct, Tran’s joyful works imagine dreamlike surfaces to question the nature of abstraction and our responses to visual stimuli, whether that be art on the white walls of a gallery or observations of planets and stars circling overhead.

About LIZ TRAN:

Channeling subjects such as dream imagery, imagined landscapes, geodes, outer space and The Big Bang, Tran explores the shapes of nature, with the infusion of fantastical, pulsing synthetic hues. 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.

About Morton Fine Art:

Founded in 2010 in Washington, DC by curator Amy Morton, Morton Fine Art (MFA) is a fine art gallery and curatorial group that collaborates with art collectors and visual artists to inspire fresh ways of acquiring contemporary art. Firmly committed to the belief that art collecting can be cultivated through an educational stance, MFA’s mission is to provide accessibility to museum-quality contemporary art through a combination of substantive exhibitions and a welcoming platform for dialogue and exchange of original voice. Morton Fine Art specializes in a stellar roster of nationally and internationally renowned artists as well as has an additional focus on artwork of the African Diaspora.

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

COVID-19 protocol: By appointment. Mask required. Contact the gallery for supplementary artwork documentation such as detail images and short videos. Safe, no contact door to door delivery available. Shipping nationally and internationally.