Tag Archives: contemporary art

Virtual exhibition and artist narration of LISA MYERS BULMASH’s solo exhibition “The Home Inside My Head” at Morton Fine Art

24 Nov

Virtual tour and artist narration of LISA MYERS BULMASH’s first east coast solo exhibition, “The Home Inside My Head” at Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC.

Video credit: Jarrett Hendrix

Contact the gallery for private viewing by appointment, price list and acquisition. (202) 628-2787 (text or call) info@mortonfineart.com http://www.mortonfineart.com

“For most of this year, we’ve had to make a home inside our heads — because a virus was blocking the way out to “normal” life. That was fine by me at first: home is my castle and retreat. But there’s no vacation from yourself, or the deepest fears for your children’s future. Even a rich interior life becomes over-stuffed with emotions, memories and uncomfortable truths. The works in “The Home Inside My Head” reflect this ambivalence. The “Bought and Paid For” series was born from the love and deep gratitude for my ancestors’ struggles to give me greater opportunities. But even during my sheltered childhood, I recognized not every house feels like home as I experienced it. Not every parent prepares their child for ugly realities like institutional racism. As a 21st century Black woman, I need to make work that explores my disillusionments as well as my hopes for America. Collages like “One Nation, Under Reconstruction” are my attempts to name these experiences as truthfully as I can. I center a Black and female viewpoint in my work, as examples of a specific story illuminating the general human condition. But there’s something else. We can’t continue to tell each other the same stories featuring the same old heroes. Those icons accomplished amazing things everywhere but at home. We need to imagine our next home before we can live in it: this is the place where we build new narratives.” – LISA MYERS BULMASH, 2020

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.

ARTWORK

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

KATHERINE TZU-LAN MANN in “Traces” at the Kreeger Museum

14 Oct
KATHERINE TZU-LAN MANN’s wall wrap installation at the Kreeger Museum



We are delighted
 to welcome visitors back into the galleries, beginning on September 23 with the opening of our special exhibition, TRACES.

A Unique Gallery Experience Spend up to 50 minutes alone in the galleries with your group. Visitors will need to obtain a free timed-entry pass to enter the Museum. Each timed-entry session is limited to a single household group or quarantine pod that will be able to enjoy the galleries with only their group during their 50-minute window. Advanced reservations are required.
TRACES features regional artists Billy Friebele, Roxana Alger Geffen, Rania Hassan, Sebastian Martorana, Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, Antonio McAfee, Brandon Morse, and Johab Silva. Guest curated by Sarah Tanguy, the show explores how the past evokes shifting memories while suggesting new and present narratives. Rich in representation and abstraction, TRACES encompasses painting, photography, mixed media, sculpture, sound, and video, and includes several site-responsive installations. As the artists dialogue with their source materials, they mine the many meanings of “trace” as noun and verb, and engage the themes of displacement, connectivity and transformation. Variously inspired by personal and cultural history, the natural and built environments, and the human condition, they offer an impassioned take on the issues of the day and suggest possible futures to come. 

Available Artwork by KATHERINE TZU-LAN MANN.

Or contact:

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

(202) 628-2787 (text or call)

mortonfineart@gmail.com

Delicate, Declarative: Artist Maya Freelon’s Ephemeral Work in Walter

6 Oct
WALTER Magazine

Delicate, Declarative: Artist Maya Freelon’s Ephemeral Work

North Carolina visual artist Maya Freelon balances strength and fragility in her massive water-stained tissue paper installations.
by Liza Roberts | photography by Chris Charles

Maya Freelon’s tissue paper sculptures are abstract, a confluence of kaleidoscopic color and organic shape. They move with a breeze, the passing of a person, the opening of a door. They make powerful, lasting statements with impermanent, inexpensive materials. Most of all, they are inquisitive. What is art? they ask. What’s it made of? Who gets to make it? Who decides? 

The work is about “challenging norms—social norms, economic norms and art norms—by turning tissue paper into a fine work of art,” says Freelon. “It’s about the fragility of life, and transformation, and the ability to see beauty in a lot of different things.” 

Often made in collaboration with groups of people, her work celebrates “the communal aspect… the ancestral heritage, the connection to quilt-making in my family and the African-American tradition of making a way out of no way.” Metaphorically and literally, Freelon’s work is a manifestation of its maker: beautiful and forthright, vulnerable but unflinching; lithe, elegant and defiantly individual.

RETURN TO THE TRIANGLE

This month, Freelon’s massive water-stained tissue paper quilts, including pieces made by as many as 100 far-flung community collaborators, will hang from the walls and ceilings of Raleigh’s Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) as part of the Durham artist’s first solo museum exhibition in North Carolina. Also on view will be her tissue ink monoprints, images of streaking color and motion that capture the dripping ink of saturated tissue paper through a process Freelon patented. Some of these include archival family photos, some are on traditional rectangular canvases, some have been crafted in asymmetric shapes and coated in a thick epoxy glaze. Even if the museum can’t open for the public to view these works in person, the show will be installed and shared virtually, says CAM director Gab Smith. 

Freelon’s fans around the country and the globe will be glad to hear it. At Miami Art Week last year, she was named one of five young artists to watch. In 2018, she installed massive, wafting tissue paper stalactites at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building in Washington, D.C. She’s lived and worked in Madagascar, Eswatini and Italy as part of the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies program. She’s collaborated with Google and Cadillac, and her work is in the collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the University of Maryland and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, among others. 

Back here in Raleigh, locals helped Freelon use torn tissue and glue sticks to make quilts to hang from the trees outside the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) to celebrate the museum’s expanded African art gallery in September of 2017. NCMA chief curator Linda Dougherty commissioned Freelon’s “quilting bee” installation after seeing a sculpture she’d created for one of the embassies. “Maya had done this beautiful, suspended piece, and I was amazed,” Dougherty says. “I love the ephemeral nature of her materials… they’re meant to be there for the moment, intentionally. It gives her a freedom to experiment. I love that open-endedness.”

INHERITANCE

Freelon’s talent and expressive ability were apparent early on, and she comes by both naturally as the daughter of two renowned artists and the great-granddaughter of another. Her mother, the jazz singer Nnenna Freelon, is a six-time Grammy Award nominee. Her father was revered architect Phil Freelon, the architect of record of the African-American History and Culture Museum on the Mall in Washington, D.C. His own grandfather was Allan Freelon, a noted Impressionist painter whose work was celebrated during the Harlem Renaissance. Her namesake and godmother was the poet Maya Angelou (“Auntie Maya”), a close friend of “Queen Mother” Frances Pierce, Freelon’s beloved grandmother. Angelou once described Freelon’s work, which she bought for her own collection, as “visualizing the truth about the vulnerability and power of the human being.” 

Freelon was a precocious teenage talent at Williston Northampton School in Massachusetts, where she transferred to finish high school after two years at the Durham School of the Arts. There, she mostly painted portraits, but “she was always a colorist, very good with color,” says Marcia Reed, her painting instructor at the school, who says that even then, she possessed an impressive “energy and driving force.” By 2006, she was a graduate student at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, living with her grandmother Pierce. 

It was there that she came upon a stack of multicolored tissue paper in the basement of the house. The paper had most likely been in the same spot for fifty years. Drips from a leaky pipe had mottled the stack over time, moving the color from piece to piece, turning the sheets into gossamer rainbows. Freelon was transfixed, and soon consumed with turning the water-stained tissue paper into art, and using water herself to mark and alter tissue paper, intent on “making something out of nothing.” That discovery, borne out of her connection to her family, became her signature medium. 

“Often, artists think they need to work with precious materials,” says Allan Edmunds, founder and director of the Brandywine Workshop and Archives in Philadelphia, where Freelon completed a residency years ago. Her use of tissue paper to make art both sets her apart and connects her to ingenious forebears, says Edmunds. “It’s in the tradition of working with what is available to you and being even more creative because you’ve created a challenge for yourself. I put her in league with El Anatsui.” Coincidentally, it is work by this Ghanaian artist—glittering, undulating woven fabric of found bottle caps—that’s a centerpiece of the NCMA’s permanent collection in the newly-renovated African art gallery that Freelon helped celebrate with her collaborative tissue quilts. 

Making something out of nothing is part of the inspiration for the title of Freelon’s exhibit at CAM: Greater Than or Equal To. Freelon also sees the title as an inquiry: “As an artist, as a Black person, as a female, I am constantly raising this question to myself,” she says. How is value—of a person, a life, a work of art—determined, and who determines it? “If we don’t value lives, if we don’t value making this world equal, then we end up having a situation where certain people’s lives mean more than others.” Her use of the symbol ≥ “is to remind folks that it’s a constant question…an opportunity for you to be aware of your judgement and where you’re placing your value.” 

She knows where her revered grandmother Pierce would have placed that value. “I think of a quote from my grandmother, which is that we come from a family of sharecroppers who never got their fair share,” she says. Grandmother Pierce’s grandchildren and “every Black person making the world a better place” were “our ancestors’ wildest dreams,” she also said. Freelon considers: “To have survived what it took to get here, and then slavery, and then segregation and racism—we’re living within it, and we’re still existing, and now we have a chance to thrive.” 

Personally, Freelon says she’s more than thriving. “I’ve never felt prouder, or better or more grateful that I took the leap, that all of my focus goes to making art and sharing it with the world… I feel like I’m just getting started.”

USING HER VOICE

As Freelon grows in her art, she’s aware of her growing platform, as well. In a video posted on social media on Juneteenth, she says: “My artwork is about using accessible materials to challenge racist paradigms that have been set forth and perpetuated by the white art world.” The video shows her setting fire to her art; an effort to seize attention in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and to make her message heard. “It’s about creating my own currency and value, and it’s about making space for and inspiring the next generation of Black artists.” In social media and in conversation, Freelon encourages her fellow Black artists to stand up for themselves, to challenge structures that don’t work for them and to know the value of their work. 

One day in late June, the day before her birthday and not long before the first anniversary of the death of her father, Freelon is reflective. She is at Vanhook Farm in Hillsborough, a bucolic place where she and her children spend a lot of time. The farm–Black-owned, Freelon points out—has long been in the family of her partner of two years, Jess Vanhook. The location is both a solace and a symbol for Freelon. “I’ve thought about our ancestors and how for them, possessing the land means that you are taking control of your own future,” she says. “You’re asking the earth to produce something for you that has value. I realized that I was doing that as an artist, cultivating something that’s made by my own hands, determining my own value and worth.” 

Even as Freelon watches over her nine-year-old son Aion, her three-year old daughter Nova, and Vanhook’s five-year-old nephew Prince, she’s focused on her art and what’s pressing on her mind. That includes supporting and mentoring younger Black artists, telling them the things she wished she’d known earlier on, both practical and philosophical: “Make sure you have an emergency fund. Make sure you apply to at least five grants a year. Be prepared to apply for art residencies that offer free studio space. Reach out to artists you admire, look at their CVs.” In a July Instagram post, she asked followers for the names of Black women artists she can pass on to museums and curators. She wants them to believe in themselves, wants them to “know that their power is their work.” 

Freelon says she had to learn all of that “on the fly.” If somebody had told her earlier, she says, “I could have made better choices, more informed choices. We need more community and connection between artists.” 

If Freelon sounds older than her 38 years, it could be because she experienced a lot early on. She has been married and wrenchingly divorced, and experienced tragedy with the death of a newborn baby, a three-day-old son named Wonderful. She connects her work directly with that experience. “There are just so many complexities to life, the fragility of it. And back to the artwork: it’s tissue paper. If it gets wet, it will break into a million pieces, but when it is dry, it has power and strength. When you unify those elements, it becomes a force to be reckoned with.” 

Art has taught her, despite the challenges she has faced, that everything she needs is within her. “Nobody can determine your future,” she says. As a younger woman, “I think I felt like I needed my parents, or I needed my husband, or I needed things or people to help push me to where I need to be, where in actuality, when everything was stripped away from me, and it was just me left, that’s all I had. That’s when I realized the drive and the energy and the purpose that’s inside.” 

And that’s what her art brings her. In her work, Freelon says, “I find peace. I find sanity. I find my purpose. I find—in working with my hands—I find community.

“I find love.”

JOIN WALTER FOR AN IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE CELEBRATING DIVERSITY, COMMUNITY AND ART. NORTH CAROLINA NATIVE AND NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ARTIST MAYA FREELON WILL DISCUSS HER NEW EXHIBIT, GREATER THAN OR EQUAL TO, AND OFFER GUESTS A LOOK INTO HER CREATIVE PROCESS. CLICK HERE TO JOIN! 

AMBER ROBLES-GORDON’s series “Place of Breath and Birth” on view with TAFETA at 1-54

13 Sep

Video of AMBER ROBLES-GORDON’s latest series “Place of Breath and Birth

Amber Robles-Gordon

Amber’s artwork is based on her personal narrative and the intersections of womanhood, patriarchy, hybridism, and Americanism.

Her intention is to further contextualize her narrative and artwork within the political, socioeconomic, and environmental threads that define, control, alienate and/or mistreat Puerto Ricans and Afro-Puerto Ricans in particular.

Place of Breath and Birth

A foundational symbology of this body of work is the Fiscus Elastica commonly known as the Rubber Tree, Rubber Fig or Rubber Plant.

The second most important symbolic layer of the work are the depictions and interpretations of the transitions of day to night and night to day.

“Throughout some of the artworks, I am a figure, a witness to the beauty and complexity of the Puerto Rican landscape”

“Ultimately, I hope this narrative and artwork gives voice to others who walk in brownness—who breathe within a female form, and/or who do not quite fit the norms…yet are Bold and Proud.”

Amber Robles-Gordon’s artwork will be presented by TAFETA at the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in October 2020.

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NATE LEWIS, ‘Remember What They Did’ Billboard Campaign Seeks To Inspire Voter Turnout

8 Sep

 

‘Remember What They Did’ Billboard Campaign Seeks To Inspire Voter Turnout

  SEP 7, 2020

Artist Nate Lewis grew up in Beaver Falls.
CREDIT REMEMBER WHAT THEY DID

“There’s a lot of trust that has been lost because of the President, really — his disregard for science and his disregard for caring for people,” said Lewis.

Speaking of the virus on July 1 – and echoing a frequent talking point of his — Trump said, “that’s going to just sort of disappear, I hope.” The illness has now claimed nearly 190,000 lives in the U.S. Trump’s words are featured in Lewis’ contribution to Remember What They Did, a new, artist-driven billboard campaign meant to spark voter turnout in battleground cities.

Lewis’ design pairs Trump’s quote with the image of a CT scan of a COVID-19 patient. Lewis used the image because “it’s an eyewitness account… about how real this virus is.”

In late August, the billboard was pasted up high over Washington Boulevard, in Larimer, and on North Craig Street, near Bigelow, in the Upper Hill District. In all, there are four Remember What They Did billboards in Pittsburgh, and 10 others split between Detroit and Milwaukee. The campaign targets communities with high concentrations of voters who are young, Black, or Latino. A spokesperson for Artists United for Change, one of the nonprofit groups behind the initiative, said it will ultimately include “dozens of billboards … and hundreds of street art posters” in six cities total.

Artists United for Change is a political committee tied to progressive groups.

There are now seven billboard designs, each by a different artist. The artists include internationally known names like Shepard Fairey (known for his “Hope” poster of Barack Obama) and Swoon (a.k.a. Caledonia Curry, who coincidentally just opened a solo exhibit at Pittsburgh gallery Contemporary Craft).

Six of the seven billboards feature Trump quotes, including “fine people on both sides” (describing counter-protesters clashing with white nationalists in Charlotesville, Va., in 2017), and “When the looting starts the shooting starts,” regarding social-justice protests in May. A seventh billboard targets Sen. Lindsey Graham for saying “I don’t care” in regard to the lengthy detention of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The initiative’s partners in Pennsylvania include liberal group Keystone Progress. All the billboards feature the injunction “Vote Them Out.”

Lewis’ artwork has been exhibited in galleries around the U.S. He said he left Beaver Falls in 2003, after high school, to study nursing. He took up art while still a student. In 2017, he quit nursing and moved to New York to pursue art full-time. He now splits his time between New York and Washington.

Lewis’ work is often politically themed, and he said he hopes Remember What They Did inspires discussion.

“I hope that it reaches the young people … who aren’t pleased with the current administration, who aren’t pleased with the continual division that’s being sown,” he said. “I hope the people who want to vote the president out, that it sparks them to take action, really, to spread that action, to vote and use their right so that we can hopefully just move forward.”

Introducing Morton Fine Art’s new artist LISA MYERS BULMASH

1 Sep

Get to know the wall mounted sculpture creations of MFA’s newest artist partner, Seattle based LISA MYERS BULMASH, and her “Bought and Paid For” series.

“This triptych of altered books is mounted on antique washboards, exploring the American Dream as filtered through a Black and female lens. The series centers on the heart of that complicated dream: owning a home of one’s own.

A repeating image in the center niche unites the three books: a family photo of the artist’s brother, running into their childhood home. This image is layered over other buildings significant in the African American experience. The first shows a slave auction “house”; the second shows the childhood home of the artist’s mother; the third depicts the artist’s first home in the Northwest.”

Featured here “Bought and Paid For 1 (triptych)”, 24″x40″, altered books mounted on antique washboards. Scroll for details. Contact Morton Fine Art for additional information on Lisa Myers Bulmash and her powerful sculptural creations.
Lisa Myers Bulmash, Bought and Paid For #1 (triptych), 2020, 24″x40″, altered books mounted on antique washboards
(Detail)
Sculpture 1 of 3
Sculpture 2 of 3
Sculpture 3 of 3
Contact the gallery for additional information about LISA MYERS BULMASH.
Morton Fine Art
52 O St NW #302
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 628-2787 (call or text)
mortonfineart@gmail.com

Newport Art Museum to present Miniature World Making At-Home Workshop with Artist Sally Curcio

3 Aug

 

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Newport Art Museum to present Miniature World Making At-Home Workshop with Artist Sally Curcio
By WhatsUpNewp Crew –
July 31, 2020

Newport, RI – Newport Art Museum invites makers of all ages to participate in an at-home Miniature World Making workshop with artist Sally Curcio. Miniature World Making is $30, or $25 for Museum members, and includes a kit complete with materials needed to build your own miniature world inspired by the work of Sally Curcio, along with a link to a special video demonstration by the artist. The deadline to reserve a kit is Sunday, August 9, and kits can be picked up at the Museum during normal open hours beginning August 14. Miniature World Making is appropriate for any age, though adult supervision is recommended for small children. Reservations are available for purchase at newportartmuseum.org/events/miniatureworldworkshop.

Six of Sally Curcio’s miniature worlds are on view as part of Newport Art Museum’s current exhibition, Complex Terrain(s). Curcio has exhibited her work in galleries, museums, and for public installations throughout the United States and internationally. She has shown at numerous museums including the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York City; the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut; the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem; and the Fitchburg Art Museum in Fitchburg. Curcio’s work is in the permanent collections of Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts; the Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, Massachusetts; and the University Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

In 2019, Curcio was selected as Lead Artist by the Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program at Art Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She has taught workshops inspired by her art at institutions such as the Children’s Museum of the Arts, New York City; Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, New York City; Girls Inc., Holyoke, Massachusetts; boys and girls schools throughout Dubai; and at Art Dubai as part of the Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program, United Arab Emirates. Curcio maintains her studio in Northampton, Massachusetts.

NATALIE CHEUNG featured in PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai : Cyanotype

3 Aug

 

PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai PRESENTS: Cyanotype

August 3 to September 4, 2020

Live from 10am (BST)

photofairs.org/cyanotype 

We are delighted to announce that artist NATALIE CHEUNG has been invited to take part in the online exhibition PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai PRESENTS: Cyanotype. Stemming from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, the 16 chosen artists all explore the cyanotype process by breaking away from convention to help further the photographic medium.

Contact the gallery for additional information and acquisition.

PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai online exhibition is on view until September 4th, 2020.

 

Morton Fine Art

http://www.mortonfineart.com

+001 202 628 2787