Tag Archives: contemporary painting

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)

info@mortonfineart.com

mortonfineart.com

KESHA BRUCE’s “Anani’s Reckoning” paired with DOMINIQUE TAYLOR’s essay “After God” by pigeon pages – a literary nest.

29 Sep

 

Kesha Bruce, Anani's Reckoning, 2014, 48"x48", mixed media on canvas. Courtesy of the Artist and Morton Fine Art.

Kesha Bruce, Anani’s Reckoning, 2014, 48″x48″, mixed media on canvas. Courtesy of the Artist and Morton Fine Art.


After God

by Dominique Taylor

2020 Flash Contest Honorable Mention


I never told you, but I loved to talk with you just after you talked with God. I laughed when I heard you roaring at your reflection and thought, for all your conviction, surely a lion might exit when the bathroom door opened. But it was you. It was always you. I had my doubts, but I found myself waiting to witness the stillness in your eyes after you asked the questions ailing you. You disappeared deep into your worries and drowned the fight out of me with your waves of silence, but when you had the answers you were seeking, that stillness was like coming up for fresh air.

You said to call you King. From the beginning, you were impossible to predict. I braced myself for reactions that did not come and surrendered to the responses that did. When I got accepted to Medgar Evers College, excited to move to New York but nervous to leave you in your state of mind, your first response was, “When are we leaving?” Our move meant freedom from the southern walls closing in on you and a chance to know the northern ones. But walls are walls.

We found a place on Flatbush and Ocean, a world away from Chesapeake, and started a life. I told you just after we’d bought that cane juice from Coconut Rob. If only I’d told you before, we’d still have that five dollars or at least a taste of the sweet relief that spilled onto the sweltering sidewalk at the news of you becoming a father. You made a thousand decisions for the three of us as we walked down Fulton Street. You decided for us to abstain from meat and dairy, despite my sudden cravings. You vowed to move us farther into Brooklyn where you found men to revere, the men who made sisters out of the women they refused to court. And you decided that I would drop out of school. This was when you started burning sage every morning and having your divine conversations at the altar of my belly. It’s when you started to redress supremacy, drape it in dashikis and ankhs rather than disrobing it completely. The possibility in my womb frightened you, broke you, and emboldened the part of you who felt the pressure to shape a world where you reigned supreme, because now you had to share it with your own creation.

Your best friends were absent for your transition to fatherhood; Calvin was locked up and Deonté had taken his own life. Black men are an endangered species, you told me. Without the black man there are no more black people. But I was there. I was always there for all your learning and unlearning, your unleashed hurt that latched onto the only other living thing in the room. You didn’t want to heal, you wanted to humiliate. You went to war in cerebral camouflage, armed with the very weaponry that had destabilized you. You went in alone, but then you found your tribe of brothers on the same quest to decolonize the mind. But didn’t you think to bring love with you?

We went to battle many times, and called many truces, but I don’t know who surrendered first. It was after we saw Lamine, who sold black soap and shea butter on the corner of Flatbush and Nevins, slap Aya. She had been mocking Lamine with a sermon or calling him monsieur or something in Wolof when his hand, which had just folded his prayer mat, knocked the words and two teeth out of her mouth. She was holding their baby.

What a disgrace, you said when we got to the subway platform.

I know, I can’t believe he did that. I raised my voice as the train approached the station. You looked at me from the corner of your eye, but I looked at the number 2 train because I realized he wasn’t the disgrace you were talking about.

You females is crazy. And you entered the train without me.

We fought that night until I went into labor. Malika broke my water a month early in an act of protest declaring that war wasn’t a necessary evil, giving birth was.

After she was born, I knew we were done. I found myself alone, numb, and breastfeeding, and you kept on building your kingdom. You collected women, like eggs in a carton you could carry, crack, and coax to your taste. Women who wouldn’t question you, who would lighten your load and whatever seeds you planted in them.

Love is acceptance and acceptance is a curious balm. At Malika’s first birthday we celebrated too loudly. Three officers arrived, their instruments primed to quiet our noise. The first bullet hit you, but I dropped the cake. The fifth and fatal bullet flooded my numbness with all of the lights, movement, cries, and reds and blues around us. I looked into your eyes and saw the stillness, and I knew I caught you just after God.

Published September 27th, 2020


Dominique Taylor is a writer and video editor. She enjoys reading and talking about books on her YouTube channel, The Storyscape. She studied Political Science at Old Dominion University.



Kesha Bruce is an artist and curator from Iowa. After completing a BFA from the University of Iowa, Bruce received an MFA in painting from Hunter College in New York City. She has since been awarded fellowships at the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), The Vermont Studio Center, The CAMAC Foundation, and The Puffin Foundation. Regularly exhibited by Morton Fine Art in Washington D.C., and numerous galleries in France, Bruce’s work is part of the collections in 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 MOMA’s Franklin Furnace Artist Book Collection. Now based between the United States and France, Bruce’s most recent solo exhibition, We Can Birth Worlds at Morton Fine Art, can be viewed online.


Virtual tour with artist narration of ANDREI PETROV’s solo exhibition “Sanctuaries”

10 Aug

 

Sanctuaries
A solo exhibition of paintings by ANDREI PETROV
August 1st – August 29th, 2020
VIRTUAL TOUR with ARTIST NARRATION
On Morton Fine Art’s YouTube Channel TODAY
Video Credit: Jarrett Hendrix
Contact the gallery for price list, additional information and acquisition.
(202) 628-2787 (call or text)

ANDREI PETROV, Moonlit Poem, 2020, 10″x20″, acrylic & watercolor on canvas

About Sanctuaries
Internationally recognized for his incredible nature based abstract paintings in oil, Andrei explores expansive and airy seascapes, a wonderful breath of fresh air during these times of confinement. The scale of these beautiful paintings reflects the adjustment from his large Brooklyn studio (where he oftentimes creates large works on canvas) to more intimate works created from his home studio in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Each piece has distinct brushwork, depth and layering, and palette which is distinctly and unmistakably from Andrei’s hand.

ANDREI PETROV, For Years to Come, 2017, 30″x48″, oil on canvas

ANDREI PETROV, Splashdown, 2020, 14″x19″, acrylic & watercolor on canvas

 

ANDREI PETROV’s Obscured Source and Secure Location installed

About ANDREI PETROV

Based in New York City ANDREI PETROV explores memory in his organic abstract paintings. His paintings probe the distortion, incompleteness and rare moments of clarity in the shadows of memory. Each piece portrays the intrinsic struggle and selective inclusion or exclusion of details in the process of recollection. At times, sharpness occurs in the rear of the picture plane while the out of focus, obscured areas, exist in a larger scale toward the foreground and make reference to the inscrutable nature of long and short term memory.
PETROV’s paintings have been exhibited nationally and internationally in prestigious collections and can be viewed at The Four Seasons Hotel in both Washington, DC and Punta Mita, Mexico, The Fairmont Hotel in Chicago and The Conrad Hotel, Miami. His paintings have also had cameos in the following films, The Royal Tenenbaums, Autumn in New York, Kate and Leopold, The Business of Strangers and Words and Lyrics. He is the featured visual artist 2016 for Music@Menlo.

Sanctuaries marks ANDREI PETROV’s seventh solo exhibition at 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
52 O St NW #302
Washington, DC 20001

COVID-19 protocol: 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. By appointment only. Mask required.

 

Studio visit with Ethiopian artist MERON ENGIDA

5 Aug

 

 

Ethiopian artist MERON ENGIDA shares her studio, art practice and inspiration. Contact Morton Fine Art for additional information and acquisition of her incredible paintings.

Morton Fine Art

52 O St NW #302

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787 (call or text)

mortonfineart@gmail.com

http://www.mortonfineart.com

Rob Shore’s film “One Window” on the art process of KATHERINE TZU-LAN MANN, Funded by Adobe

29 Apr

Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann’s art starts with an act of chaos, an act of chance — and then seeks to impose order around it. Her work invites people to take their shoes off and step into another world. Funded by Adobe, One Window is an experimental documentary short that seeks to use the creative methods behind Katherine’s own art to produce a film about it. By the end of the film, viewers won’t have any trouble seeing how a seventy foot-long abstract mural is a work of detailed self-portraiture about one of the most extraordinary artists of our time.
 
Director & Producer: Rob Shore
Executive Producer: Eric Philpott (Adobe)
DP: Shane Alcock
Editor: Matt Tanski
Sound Design & Music: Joe Basile
Location Sound: Phil Edfors
Colorist: Robbie Carmen
Assistant Camera: Camille Toussaint
Picture This Productions
Represented by Morton Fine Art, 52 O St NW #302, Washington, DC 20001
(202) 628-2787 (call or text)
mortonfineart@gmail.com

VONN SUMNER’s “Only Painted Fire” exhibition at Morton Fine Art

9 Nov

On view:

Morton Fine Art

52 O St #302

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787

http://www.mortonfineart.com

mortonfineart@gmail.com

 

Neo-Byzantine (Red Hot), 2019, 24″x20″, oil on panel

 

 

Betrayal Wall,  2019, 24″x24″, oil on panel

 

El Ingres-Frida (Appropriation of Culture), 2019, 24″x24″, oil on canvas

 

Balloon Dumpster (The Party’s Over), 2019, 16″x20″, oil on panel

About Only Painted Fire
In the summer of 2018, I travelled to Italy to see many of my favorite paintings in person for the first time: the early Renaissance frescoes of Giotto, Masaccio, and Piero della

Francesca. Though I was very familiar with the work through reproduction, seeing it with my own eyes was a transformative experience. When I returned home to California, I began a nearly life-size copy of one of my favorite panels of the Giotto frescoes at the Scrovegni chapel in Padua (alternately referred to as The Betrayal of Christ or Judas’ Kiss). I wanted to inhabit the painting, rather than just look at it; I wanted to feel what it was like to make those paintings.

 

During the process of copying this painting, I became intrigued with Giotto’s stylized depiction of fire, which blazed at the end of several torches along the top of the painting. I realized I had never really painted fire, and for some reason this became an

irresistible challenge. At the same time, I was following the news and trying

to make sense of the polarized and turbulent political climate of our time.

Perhaps due to my newfound fascination with painting fire, certain phrases that

commentators and pundits would use grabbed my attention: “dumpster-fire” and

“trash-fire” especially, used as hyperbolic expressions of frustration and

outrage. 

 

I began to think more deeply about the uses and depictions of fire, symbolically and literally, and the ways in which humans have used fire in rituals. Fire is dangerous and out of control, which also makes it beautiful and sexy and alive. Fire is violent and

destructive, which leads to change, regeneration and rebirth. We speak of

‘trial by fire’ and ‘lost torches’; passionate people can be ‘on fire’’ and

have ‘fire in their belly.’ In California we have “Fire Season” and “high fire

danger” alerts. There are “fire eaters” to entertain us, and parties that “burn

down the house” and light “the roof on fire,” etc… All of these phrases and

notions have been on my mind this past year as I have painted fire and searched

for personal and artistic renewal.

 

The resulting paintings are not meant as a definitive or conclusive statement, rather as evidence of one painter engaging with the world, following a gut instinct, and doing “research paintings” in order to see what happens. The work can be seen symbolically or

literally, or both; and I invite the viewer to bring their own interpretations

and resonances to the occasion. No matter how we look at our current cultural

moment, regardless of ideology or affiliation, it seems we are living through a

time of great change. These paintings are in some way a response to that

condition.

 

– VONN SUMNER, 2019

 

 

Dumpster Fire III,  2019, 16″x16″, oil on panel

 

Dumpster Fire IV, 2019, 18″x18″, oil on panel

 

Dumpster Fire II, 2019, 18″x14″, oil on canvas

 

KOR, 2019, 16″x12″, oil on canvas

 

About VONN CUMMINGS SUMNER

 

Vonn Cummings Sumner grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, the son of a picture framer and a school teacher. Seeing the art that his father was framing, as well as travel in Europe, Central America and India shaped Sumner’s visual aesthetic during his formative years.

 

He attended the University of California, at Davis, where he earned both a Bachelor’s degree and an M.F.A. in painting, with highest honors. While at Davis he worked closely with Wayne Thiebaud both as a student and as a teaching assistant. Sumner also took summer classes at the San Francisco Art Institute, and is influenced by the Bay Area Figurative movement that centered around that school in the postwar period.

 

Sumner has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1998. He has been featured or reviewed in many publications including New American Paintings, Elle Décor, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, L.A. Weekly, Art Ltd., Riviera magazine, Hi Fructose, Cartwheel Art, The Painter’s Table, Boom magazine, and Quick Fiction. Sumner has shown regularly throughout the Los Angeles area since 2003, including in a solo museum show- Vonn Sumner: The Other Side of Here- at the Riverside Art Museum in the fall of 2008. A second solo museum exhibition, Vonn Sumner: Stages, followed in 2011 at the Phillips Museum of Art on the campus of Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania. Sumner’s paintings have been shown internationally in Venice, Italy; Manchester, England, and Switzerland. He is represented by Morton Fine Art in Washigton, DC.

 

Only Painted Fire marks his forth solo exhibition at Morton Fine Art.

 

 

Standing Man (on fire), 2019, 16″x12″, oil on canvas

 

Trashfire IV, 2019, 18″x14″, oil on canvas

 

Trashfire III, 2019, 18″x14″, oil on canvas

 

Neo-Byzantine (Japonaiserie), 2019, 24″x20″,  oil on paper mounted on panel

 

A Fire Without a Trashcan, 2019, 16″x12″, oil on canvas

 

Trashfire II, 2019, 14″x12″, oil on canvas

 

Trashfire I, 2019, 12″x9.5″, oil on canvas

 

Link to available artwork by VONN SUMNER

VONN SUMNER’s solo “Bread and Circuses (and Walls)”

24 Aug
Gallery

ANDREI PETROV’s “Moments of Clarity” Solo Exhibition

28 Mar

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‘Moments of Clarity’ New Oil Paintings by ANDREI PETROV

24 Feb
Friday, March 10th – March 29th, 2017
midnightrider_web
Midnight Rider, 2017, oil on canvas, 30″x 40″
OPENING DAY RECEPTION
Friday, March 10th, 6pm-8pm
The artist will be in attendance.
EXHIBITION LOCATION
Morton Fine Art (MFA)
1781 Florida Ave NW (at 18th & U Sts)
Washington, DC 20009

HOURS
TuesdaySaturday 11am – 6pm

Sunday 12pm-5pm

About ANDREI PETROV & Moments of Clarity

Based in New York City, ANDREI PETROV explores memory in his organic abstract paintings. His paintings probe the distortion, incompleteness and rare moments of clarity in the shadows of memory. Each piece portrays the intrinsic struggle and selective inclusion or exclusion of details in the process of recollection. At times, sharpness occurs in the rear of the picture plane while the out of focus, obscured areas, exist in a larger scale toward the foreground and make reference to the inscrutable nature of long and short term memory.
Petrov’s paintings have been exhibited nationally and internationally in prestigious collections and can be viewed at The Four Seasons Hotel in both Washington, DC and Punta Mita, Mexico, The Fairmont Hotel in Chicago and The Conrad Hotel, Miami. His paintings have also had cameos in the following films, The Royal Tenenbaums, Autumn in New York, Kate and Leopold, The Business of Strangers and Words and Lyrics. He is the featured visual artist 2016 for Music@Menlo.

Moments of Clarity marks ANDREI PETROV’s fifth consecutive solo exhibition at Morton Fine Art.
safeflight_web
Safe Flight, 2017, oil on canvas, 48″x 36″