Tag Archives: DC art

Natalie Cheung | Alternative Process Photography | Video of her solo exhibition “Made of Light” at Morton Fine Art

2 Nov

Video credit: Jarrett Hendrix

Morton Fine Art is pleased to announce Made of Light, a solo exhibition of alternative process photography and sculpture by the artist Natalie Cheung. Utilizing time, gesture and much technical expertise, the artist captures lived experience directly onto the surface of her photosensitive paper and microplastic sculptures. Cheung’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, Made of Light will be on view from October 15 to November 12, 2022.

A formally-trained photographer, D.C.-based artist Natalie Cheung no longer owns a camera. Having studied film photography during the advent of the medium’s “digital revolution,” Cheung’s education was heavily centered on the influences of light, duration and the chemistry of making a photographic print. As traditional photography began to increasingly rely on the pixel, Cheung continued to explore these elements in the darkroom without the aid of film images. What resulted was a microhistory of artistic development, her dive into abstraction mirroring the revolt against mimesis undertaken by painters in the late 19th century – ironically, in response to photography’s initial ascent at that time.

Appropriately, then, Cheung’s experimental photography takes on a playful relationship with art history itself. In the artist’s “Facsimile” series, Cheung intuitively plays with light, chemical emulsion and photographic paper to create colors and shapes that pay homage to art history’s previous regimes. From the nautical wash of a Turner landscape to the relaxed staining of Helen Frankenthaler’s abstractions, Cheung’s free-associative style inclusively riffs on prior forms, indebted to her realization that no shape or configuration can ever be truly original. The humility of homage in Cheung’s work is balanced in turn by her technical mastery; her developmental ingenuity is so acute that she is able to translate impulse, memory and reference onto photosensitive paper with the subtlest of gestures. With this process itself having become second nature, Cheung’s predilections as an artist and preoccupations as a citizen are able to make their way transparently into her work.

In the artist’s “Intermediaries” series, Cheung uses slow-reacting cyanotype to create abstract works that seem to map islands, river deltas or erosion itself. In a process that can take up to several days, the artist allows her chemistry to evaporate naturally, in a manner indicative of the slow creep of time and loss of water that defines humanity’s relationship with climate catastrophe. Taking up the same process as was historically used to make blueprints, Cheung’s Intermediary works are like designs for a future of ceded control, capturing the chaos of durations we are not accustomed to monitoring.

Concern for the climate also comes out in the artist’s “Reclaim” sculptures – topographic models of islands constructed from nylon flocking, a non-recyclable form of compressed microplastic. Inspired by man-made landmasses such as Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah or even the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Cheung’s works hang in lucite display cases like real estate offerings: a scathing reminder that no man is an island.

Born in Virginia to a first-generation Chinese family, a formative artistic influence for Cheung was her mother’s practice of intricate chuāng huā papercuts, made on sheets of printer paper in honor of the Lunar New Year. Incorporating another form of alternative process photography, Cheung’s “Rock. Paper. Scissors.” series places these designs against a darkroom projector, blowing them up to monumental reliefs captured on photographic sheets. The resulting works carry the grandiosity and simplicity of Barnett Newman’s abstractions, though they are weighted with the significance of Cheung’s history and heritage. Open to the element of chance as she lets light slip in between the slivers of these shapes, such works are a synthesis of the artist’s great themes: balancing inevitability and accident in a delicate dance.

Natalie Cheung (b. Falls Church, Virginia) received her MFA in Photography from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and her BFA in Photography from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, DC. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally; she has been profiled in Washington Spaces Magazine and has had work represented in numerous collections including the Museum of Fine Art, Houston and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Cheung currently teaches at the George Washington University and has previously taught at the Corcoran College of Art + Design and Temple University, Tyler School of Art. She has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2014.

Available Artwork by NATALIE CHEUNG

Morton Fine Art | Washington City Paper

24 Sep

POSTED IN ARTS

The Little Art Galleries That Could and Do

Check out these art exhibitions off the beaten path.

by STEPHANIE RUDIG

SEPTEMBER 22ND, 2022

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There’s no shortage of blockbusters coming to D.C.’s museums and galleries this fall. The Air and Space Museum will reopen on Oct. 14 following an extended construction project. The Rubell Museum DC will have its hotly anticipated opening on Oct. 29, creating a new venue for contemporary art in the city. And selfie snappers are sure to assemble for the last few months of One With Eternity: Yayoi Kusama in the Hirshhorn Collection and Mexican Geniuses, a new immersive experience featuring the work of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. These outings are fun and all, but some of the most interesting and unexpected art can be found away from the crowds and tucked into some of D.C.’s coziest spaces.

One of the tiniest of these is Transformer, a gallery whose emphasis on emerging and experimental artists has made it one of the most exciting places in the city for artistic exhibitions and events. In June, Transformer celebrated its 20th anniversary, and it will continue to have special events through the end of the year. Starting Sept. 17, the gallery will open its 19th Annual DC Artist Solo Exhibition, which features Commemorative Strands by Artise Fletcher this season. The D.C.-born and based artist has created textiles, films, and photographs around the topic of Black women’s hair. Many of the works feature hair as a material or storytelling device. In addition to the show, a series of programming invites audience members to consider wider cultural meanings and personal feelings around hair and beauty. Events include a panel and discussion as well as a hands-on activity to make your own commemorative cloth.

The spaces at 52 O Street Studios aren’t just used as studios—Amy Morton has hosted her contemporary art gallery Morton Fine Art there for the past four years. Without a street-level entry, the gallery is open by appointment only, which is great for gallery-goers who want to linger over the work uninterrupted, or interested buyers who want to spend some time with an artist’s work. MFA represents a wide variety of artists from around the world, as well as a good slice who work in the D.C. area. This fall, MFA has two exhibits that capture the best of these worlds. Take Me to the Water features mixed-media works by Kesha Bruce, an artist and activist whose bright works explore artmaking as a form of slowness and self care. Following that, Natalie Cheung’s exhibit Made of Light opens, showcasing her experiments with camera-less photography using light sensitive paper, movement, and stencil techniques.

Entertaining and dinner parties are extremely in style, and perhaps no dinner party will be more stylish than an exhibit of tablescapes at Friends Artspace in Arlington. Mise En Place continues the gallery’s habit of showing functional art and design objects as well as fine art in the garage that curator Margaret Bakke has converted into a miniature gallery. A large table fills most of the space, and all sorts of tableware covers every available centimeter of the surface. There’s place settings of course, but also goblets, candlesticks, mugs, sugar bowls, tureens, pitchers, vases, butter dishes, floral arrangements, chandeliers, and more. The exhibition’s announcement proclaims, “people come and go but glassware is basically forever.” Local artists and designers including Hadiya WilliamsCatherine Satterlee, and Dannia Hakki are among those who get a seat at this table.

Commemorative Strands runs through Oct. 22 at Transformer, 1404 P St. NW. transformerdc.org. Free. Take Me to the Water runs through Oct. 11 at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St. NW. mortonfineart.com. Free, by appointment.  Made of Light runs Oct. 15 through Nov. 12 at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St. NW. mortonfineart.com. Free, by appointment. Mise En Place runs through Dec. 10 at Friends Artspace, 2400 North Edgewood St. Arlington. friendsartspace.com. Free, by appointment

Available Artwork by KESHA BRUCE

Available Artwork by NATALIE CHEUNG

NATALIE CHEUNG and NATE LEWIS Reviewed in The Washington Post

25 Apr

WASHINGTON POST ~ In the galleries ~ April 21, 2017

 Natalie Cheung: Increments in Time and Nate Lewis: Tensions in Tapestries On view through April 26 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

Natalie Cheung’s “31 Hours,” cyanotype on paper, on view through April 26 at Morton Fine Art. (Natalie Cheung/Courtesy of Morton Fine Art)

To judge by their titles, change must be the subject of Natalie Cheung’s cyanotypes. Each picture in her Morton Fine Art show, “Increments in Time,” is named after a period of as little as one and as many as 76 hours. This is how long it took water to evaporate from the photographic paper, yielding studies in blue, black and white.  The D.C. artist has turned the process, once used for architectural blueprints, into something abstract and unpredictable. Her pictures may resemble Rorschach tests and microscopic views, but all they truly illustrate is the process by which they were made. Their poetry is an accident of chemicals and duration.


Nate Lewis’s “Signals II,” hand-sculpted paper photo print, at Morton Fine Art. (Nate Lewis/Courtesy of Morton Fine Art)

To Nate Lewis, whose “Tensions in Tapestries” also is at Morton, the African American body is a landscape to be transformed. He cuts and scrapes black-and-white photographic portraits, removing pigment while adding patterns and flocked textures. The effect recalls African weaving and skin embellishment, but also reflects the influence of the D.C. artist’s job as an intensive-care nurse, seeking to heal the most damaged. In pieces such as “Funk and Spine,” the surface of a woman’s body is almost entirely remade, yet sinew, bone and essence endure.

– Mark Jenkins

Natalie Cheung: Increments in Time and Nate Lewis: Tensions in Tapestries On view through April 26 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

VONN SUMNER in American Contemporary Art Magazine

12 Oct

American Contemporary Art Magazine, September 2011

American Contemporary Art Magazine, September 2011

Vonn Sumner's Exhibition "Late Empire Style"

Vonn Sumner's Exhibition "Late Empire Style"

To view available artwork by Vonn Sumner please visit the following link:

http://www.mortonfineart.com/#/Collaborating Artists/Vonn SUMNER/1/caption