Tag Archives: Contemporary African American Art

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

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

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

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

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

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

keshabruce_2016_010 The Crossroads 60 x 48 web

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

Click HERE to view available artworks by KESHA BRUCE.

Contact Morton Fine Art for acquisition information.

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

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

 

KESHA BRUCE’s “Magic Spells and Reminders” opens 2/26 at Morton Fine Art

18 Feb
Magic Spells & Reminders

A solo exhibition of new artwork by KESHA BRUCE

 

Friday, February 26th, 2016 – March 17th, 2016

OPENING DAY RECEPTION

 

Friday, February 26th from 6pm-8pm

The artist will be in attendance.

keshabruce_2016_003 Lexicon 48 x 36  web

Lexicon, 2016, 48″x36″, mixed media on canvas

EXHIBITION LOCATION

Morton Fine Art (MFA)
1781 Florida Ave NW (at 18th & U Sts)
Washington, DC 20009

HOURS

Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm
Sunday 12pm-5pm

 

keshabruce_2016_009 Made of Spirit and Royal Blood 1 48 x 36 web

Made of Spirit and Royal Blood 1, 2016, 48″x36″, mixed media on canvas


About
Magic Spells & Reminders

Magical-Spiritual belief is at the root of every artwork I create.  “Magic Spells & Reminders” began as a series of reoccurring shapes which appeared within my daily drawings.  These shapes soon solidified and grew into a set of symbols that I began to think of as a personal, magical alphabet. 

Influenced by the dry heat and jagged, volcanic peaks of the Superstition Mountains, over the last 6 months I have created a spiritual lexicon inspired by endless sunlight and expansive blue sky of my new home in the Sonoran desert. Unlike my past work, these new works aren’t necessarily narrative in nature, rather they are intended to act as catalysts and reminders to bring about change.  

The symbols themselves do not have fixed meanings. In fact, individual symbols may have several meanings, determined primarily by their placement within the painting and their juxtaposition to adjacent symbols. Just as many spiritual paths regard “speaking in tongues” as being a private language between a believer and The Divine, I regard the symbols I’ve created as a subconscious, visual vocabulary that represents spiritual concepts and ideas that range from the concrete to the ethereal and intangible. 

The paintings I’ve created for “Magic Spells & Reminders” are meant to act as visual reminders of both spiritual and creative intent, tools or reflection and healing, statements of personal power, and in some cases a call to arms. 

-KESHA BRUCE, 2016

 

Magic Spells & Reminders marks KESHA BRUCE’s 5th solo exhibition at Morton Fine Art.

 

About KESHA BRUCE

Kesha Bruce creates richly textured and visually complex artworks that explore the connections between memory, personal mythology, and magical-spiritual belief.

Born and raised in Iowa, she completed a BFA from the University of Iowa before earning an MFA in painting from Hunter College in New York City.

Kesha Bruce has been awarded fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), The Vermont Studio Center, The CAMAC Foundation, and received a Puffin Foundation Grant for her work with Artist’s Books.

Her work is included in the permanent collections of The Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture,The Amistad Center for Art and Culture, The University of Iowa Women’s Center, The En Foco Photography Collection, and The Museum of Modern Art/Franklin Furnace Artist Book Collection.

 

She is represented by Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC.

Click here to view available artwork by KESHA BRUCE.

keshabruce_2016_008 Remember to Fight 2 36 x 36 web

Remember to Fight 2, 2016, 36″x36″, mixed media on canvas

 

About Morton Fine Art

 

Founded as an innovative solution to the changing contemporary art market in 2010, 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 innovative exhibitions and a new generation of art services.

 

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

http://www.mortonfineart.com

mortonfineart@gmail.com

(202) 628-2787

Charles Williams’ beautiful struggle in the Charlotte Agenda

30 Jun

 

charlotte agenda

Charles Williams’ beautiful struggle

“Be careful Charles. Don’t go jumping waves with your cousins” Charles’ father called from the picnic area.

But the boys raced down to the edge of the shore anyway. The sea spray felt cool on their skin as they leapt through the first knee high swells and continued wading into the surf, splashing and laughing in the summer heat. Each successive wave brought with it more laughter as the boys tempted fate and cooled their noon baked skin. The last wave rose up in front of the boys, continuing to grow as it gained momentum, when it reached its peak, it paused, towering over their heads. The wind caught the crest of the wave, spraying a mist of salt water across the sky and creating a shimmering rainbow in the stillness. The boys yelled in anticipation as the full weight of the water came crashing down around them, forcing them under, and tossing them off their feet in a roaring wash of salt, sand and foam.

Then everything was dark.

His cousins popped up laughing exuberantly, wiping the salt out of their eyes and squinting against the glare of the bright afternoon sun. Charles was nowhere to be seen. He would come to, several minutes later, with his father and uncle anxiously leaning over him. Charles sputtered, then coughed. His father smiled with relief and held the breathing boy close, Charles Williams was alive.

There would be several more drowning scares as the years stacked up, and Charles’ fear of the ocean would remain strong, while some other urge kept drawing him to the water. It is this dichotomy, the fear and the attraction, that makes Charles Williams‘ paintings, now on display at the McColl Center for Art and Innovation where Charles is currently an artist-in-residence, so alluring.

“The thing that moves me the most about Charles Williams’ vision is his focus on fear and overcoming that fear.” says Mitchell Kearney, Image Maker.

charles-williams

Fear can be a funny thing. At times it is paralyzingly obvious, but on the whole, fear tends to be more insidious. Hiding in plain sight, rarely acknowledged, but insinuating itself into every decision, tainting every dream with a shadow of anxiety.

Charles is no stranger to fear, he has confronted and overcome it numerous times throughout his life. Like the time he decided to use his artistic talents to pay for college instead of taking the easier route and simply working a part-time job.

“My dad told me ‘I don’t want you to work at McDonald’s or the Grocery Store, not that there is anything wrong with that, but I want you to figure out a way to use your talent.’”

And that is exactly what Charles did, from displaying his art on any shelf in town that would have him, to selling out galleries. Or when he left a successful career as a graphic designer, having won industry awards and made a name for himself, to whole heartedly embrace his passion as an artist. Charles knows what it feels like to be afraid and uncertain at the crossroads of life. He knows what it is to have the hopes and dreams of a community resting on his shoulders. And through all of the progressions; professionally, personally and artistically, the fear of the water still remains.

Yet Charles has always been drawn to the water. He has lived by the water all of his life, and most recently moved with his wife to Charlotte from James Island, where they lived near the beach for the past four years.

Every day…every single day, Charles would go down to the seaside and watch the waves. He would take photographs of the water, analyze the currents, dissect the combination of light and texture, dimension and fluidity within the tides, and see, really see the ocean. See it in all of its color and majesty, all of its power and awe. That “seeing” was Charles’ way of embracing his fear. He is not ashamed to acknowledge his weakness, or embody his desire to overcome it, and in the process produce breathtaking works of art.

charles-williams

“For his recent exhibition, “Swim,” Charles Williams creates powerful and mesmerizing images of the sea. This force of nature becomes a metaphor for other potentially threatening emotional and societal undertows that must be navigated with courage and skill. An accomplished artist, Williams will continue to probe topics that need further dialogue.” says Carla Hanzal, an Independent Curator.

Charles has channeled his fear of swimming to create some of the most realistic paintings of the Atlantic Ocean I have ever seen. His canvasses are larger than life. Looking at Charles’ renderings of waves curling and thrashing with each other inspires awe and fear.

“All of the works that were in the exhibition, I wanted them to be large…I wanted you to feel like you were there, and doing them small would not have captured the essence of the emotional tie that I have to not being able to swim.” says Charles.

The ocean demands those feelings, commands your respect, and that intensity is palpable in Charles’ paintings. Mother Nature is awesome, in the true and original sense of the word, and fear is not an inappropriate feeling to have when in her grasp.

The depth of Charles’ paintings, the texture of the water, the interplay of light and color, is so realistic you feel like you are in the trough of a swell. On the east coast there are no waves without foam. And if you have ever been to the coasts of North or South Carolina, you know our waters are not crystal clear, or even blue. They are a rolling, roiling, turbulent color that alludes to the sand and life churning just beneath the surface, and they are always covered in foam. Charles captures the essence of our coastal waters with a unique honesty and vivid realism.

“I paint like a water colorist…but I work wet on wet so the cool thing is that I like to scrub out…. so you get all of those layers shining through… which gives it that glow.” Charles says of his particular process for finding the colors to make his portraits of the sea so incredibly life like.

Charles has big things on the horizon. As he continues his journey and faces his fear of the water, he plans to document his progress with photos and video, using these images to tell his story. Charles is currently working on pieces for his upcoming shows, as an artist-in-residence at the McColl Center for Art and Innovation, where he will be through early August.

That means we, as Charlotteans, have the rare opportunity to not only experience Charles’ realistic and imposing paintings of the sea, but to witness the craft and skill by which he brings the ocean into his studio. Stop in, take a few minutes to appreciate the dynamic beauty of his work, and talk with a man who is determined to better himself.

A link to the article: http://www.charlotteagenda.com/5999/charles-williams-beautiful-struggle/

Please contact Morton Fine Art for available work by artist CHARLES WILLIAMS.

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

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

CHARLES WILLIAMS – McColl Center for Art + Innovation Summer 2015

29 Apr

charles williams web

 

Contact MORTON FINE ART for available artwork by CHARLES WILLIAMS.

(202) 628-2787

mortonfineart@gmail.com

http://www.mortonfineart.com

 

New Artwork by MAYA FREELON ASANTE

15 Jan

New arrivals to the gallery by artist MAYA FREELON ASANTE!

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About MAYA FREELON ASANTE (Chapel Hill, b. USA):

Maya Freelon Asante is an award-winning artist whose artwork was described by poet Maya Angelou as “visualizing the truth about the vunerability and power of the human being,” and her unique tissue paper work was also praiseed by the International Review of African American Art as a “vibrant, beating assemblage of color.” She was selected by Modern Luxury Magazine as Best of the City 2013 and by the Huffington Post’s “Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know”.

Maya has exhibited her work nationally and internationally including Paris, Ghana, and US Embassies in Madagascar, Italy, Jamaica, and Swaziland. She has been a professor of art at Towson University and Morgan State University. Maya has attended numerous residencies including Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Korobeity Institute and Brandywine Workshop. She earned a BA from Lafayette College and an MFA from the School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

 

Please contact Morton Fine Art for artwork availability.
mortonfineart@gmail.com
(202) 628-2787

 

MAYA FREELON ASANTE’s artwork featured on the cover of SIGNS JOURNAL

6 Jan

Our Current Issue

asante-home

The Winter 2015 issue of Signs begins with a comparative perspectives symposium titled “Politics of the Sensing Subject: Gender, Perception, Art,” edited and introduced by Anne Keefe. Other articles in the issue explore new materialism; women who regret becoming mothers; emerging representations of autistic subjects; race, gender, and affect from a historical perspective; the affective labor of drag and nursing; and the contemporary relationship between the United States and India through US women’s memoirs. Read more about the issue here or view the issue itself on JSTOR.
http://signsjournal.org/

New Arrivals by NATHANIEL DONNETT- Small Work on Paper Bags

22 Mar

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Don’t miss the opportunity to acquire one of these small gems by Houston-based artist Nathaniel Donnett. Multiple choice brown paper bag pieces also come with “Paper Bag Tests” to further contextualize the social and psychological content of the complex and thought provoking artworks.

Contact MFA for acquisition!

More photos from Houston Fine Art Fair 2012

25 Sep

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