Tag Archives: East City Art

East City Art | Creating a New Whole | Group Collage Exhibition at Morton Fine Art

19 Jan

MORTON FINE ART PRESENTS CREATING A NEW WHOLE

By Editorial Team on January 9, 2023

Wed, 04 January 2023 – Sat, 04 February 2023

Prina Shah, Unlock and Awaken, 2022, 25″x25″, paper, saree, bindis, block printing and acrylic on canvas

Opening Reception: Saturday, January 14 from 2pm to 4pm

Morton Fine Art is pleased to announce Creating a New Whole, a group exhibition of collage artwork by Michael Andrew Booker, Lizette Chirrime, GA Gardner, Hiromitsu Kuroo, Lisa Myers Bulmash, Amber Robles-Gordon and Prina Shah. Ranging in techniques, approaches and materials—from quilting, tapestry, fabric, paint and appropriated mass media—the artists in Creating a New Whole exemplify collage’s invitation to what Myers Bulmash has recognized as “a process of purposefully taking things out of context.” Constructing new contexts, forms and wholes, these artists’ practices are frequently as generative as much as they are reparative, seeking to draw connections to what was absent or ignored in their elements’ original context(s). Creating a New Whole, will be on view from January 4 to February 4, 2023 at Morton’s Washington, DC space (52 O St NW #302).

Collage Artwork by Michael Andrew Booker, Lisa Myers Bulmash, Lizette Chirrime, GA Gardner, Hiromitsu Kuroo, Amber Robles-Gordon & Prina Shah

About Creating a New Whole

Continuing quilting techniques practiced by their respective ancestors, Booker, Chirrime, Gardner and Shah work with resonant materials that speak to the past while enabling the past to speak to the present. Kenya-based, Shah’s personally charged materials include paper, saree, bindis and block printing which she vividly combines using textures, colors and forms, the sum total creating new narratives and perspectives for her inner voice. DC-based Booker is influenced by the coded and colorful history of quilts, referencing them as sign markers, shields, portals and gateways to help secure safe passage to a parallel utopic, afro-futuristic community, what the artist has called “Afrotopia.” Intensely layering marks of fineliner pen, color pencil, collage and fabric, Booker conjures complex, multidimensional figurative works, his figures and forms cohereing together out of countless small acts.

Mozambican artist Chirrime sources scrap materials from her environment and immediate communities, using fabric, burlap, rope, paint, beads, leather and more to produce dynamic collages that speak to African womanhood, and more broadly, the human condition. Slicing and collaging Western printed media, Trinidad and Tobago-based Gardner appropriates both content and practice, “creating false images and out-of-context narratives” that ironically and seductively mirror the Western world’s misrepresentation of people of color. Likewise taking a critical, redemptive eye to Western mass media, Myers Bulmash’s “Not Geo” series, a cutting play on National Geographic’s nickname, seeks to rehabilitate and restore to dignity the publication’s now notorious rendering of Africans and other non-Western people.

Overall, a sense of construction charges the works in Creating a New Whole, whether that be the notion of renovating the present and past or extending out of the frame into sculptural dimensions. The latter can be seen in the sculptural geometric-like works of Robles-Gordon (pieces the artist recognizes as “temples, places of spiritual practice” and which reference her larger textile installations) and Kuroo, inspired by the tradition of origami in his native Japan, whose thickly layered applications of paint and canvas exist on the boundary between painting and three-dimensional art.

Abidingly constructive in spite of their rigorous interventions, the works in Creating a New Whole end up with more than they started with as a matter of process.

Available artwork in Creating a New Whole

About MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER
Michael Andrew Booker (b. USA) is a mixed media artist originally from Jackson, Mississippi who currently resides in Maryland. He received his BFA in Studio Art – Painting from Mississippi State University in 2008, and received his MFA in Studio Art from University of Maryland in 2012. He has exhibited in various galleries across Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Maine, Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC. His work has been acquired by the David C. Driskell Center in College Park, MD. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Art at Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring.

Booker has been represented by Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC since 2019.

Available artwork by Michael Andrew Booker

About LISA MYERS BULMASH
Lisa Myers Bulmash (b. USA) is a collage and book artist who works primarily in acrylics, paper and found objects. Informally trained, Myers Bulmash began her career making handmade cards. After her father’s death in 2006, the artist felt compelled to take more personal risks in her creative life. Questions of identity, trust and the imperfect memory now drive most of her work. The artist aims to nudge the viewer into recognizing our shared stories, especially those narratives that are usually experienced in isolation.

Myers Bulmash exhibits her work in group and solo shows throughout the Seattle metro area. She has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2020.

Available artwork by Lisa Myers Bulmash

About LIZETTE CHIRRIME
Lizette Chirrime (b. Mozambique) creates intricate fabric collages on canvas that are at once celebratory and soul-stirring, as the artist flirts between figuration and abstraction to develop a unique—and distinctly African—visual language. Stitching together printed fabrics, beads, and other familiar objects in Southern Africa, Chirrime transforms simple materials into autobiographical and narrative tableaux freighted with deeply felt emotion and patterns of meaning. Many of her collages center maternal figures and stories of African motherhood, honoring their millennia-long legacy of strength and grace and positing their representation as a symbolic device.

After receiving a three-month residency at Greatmore Studios in Cape Town in 2005, Chirrime spent the next 16 years of her practice in South Africa. In 2021, she made a return to her home country of Mozambique, where she now lives and continues to create.

She has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2021.

Available artwork by Lizette Chirrime

About GA Gardner
GA Gardner (b. Republic of Trinidad and Tobago) uses print media content to create an intimate viewpoint of his intercultural experience. Through the lens of his Caribbean heritage, he dissects, covers up, reveals, layers, and re-contextualizes the material in the print publications he uses, to construct pieces that specifically discuss issues of politics, race, culture, and identity.

The publications are a natural fit for Gardner, as they offer random vibrant color palettes, much like that of a typical Caribbean environment, and a great mixture of text and professionally photographed images. However the colors are universal and allow a conceptual approach to finding the common ground among all cultures. The artist combines these media depictions and information with natural paper and synthetic materials to aid in his message. By deconstructing the images into strips, or bits of torn paper, and assigning new overlays of unifying colors to the materials, Gardner erodes the original content at various levels often reducing them to shades with traces of random colors. The image that was once a bold headline new banner, or the newest eye catching product now struggles to be seen; muted, it now plays a secondary role to layers of paint and other mediums. The resulting serendipitous visual construction is an unsystematic reconfiguration and re-purposing to discuss culture, heritage and the symbolism of color.

He has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2012.

Available artwork by GA Gardner

About HIROMITSU KUROO
Hiromitsu Kuroo (b. Japan) is a Japanese collage painter working in the tradition of origami. In his work, the canvas serves as the paper, and the gentle manipulation of its surface conveys intricate textural landscapes. The multiple layers of colors in his folded canvases are revealed by sanding the canvas surface. Interested in the juxtaposition and vitality of collaged pieces of canvas, he uses them to accentuate other emerging shapes in his compositions.

Kuroo earned both a BFA and MFA from Tohoku University of Art & Design and has had solo exhibitions at the New York based Tenri Cultural Institute, Gloria Kennedy Gallery, MIKIMOTO NY, Makari and Bronx Community College, as well as the Tokyo-based Gallery Yamaguchi and G-Art Gallery. He was awarded Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grants in 2010 and 2019, Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant in 2022 and the artist residency program for The Golden Foundation in 2019. In 2020, he was interviewed for Forbes Magazine. He has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2022.

Available artwork by Hiromitsu Kuroo

About AMBER ROBLES-GORDON
Amber Robles-Gordon (b. Puerto Rico) completed her Masters of Fine Arts from Howard University in November 2011, where she has received annual awards and accolades for her artwork. Her exhibitions and artwork has been reviewed and/or featured in many esteemed publications including the Washington Post, the Miami Herald, Huffington Post and Callaloo Art & Culture in the African Diaspora.

Robles-Gordon was commissioned to create temporary and permanent public art installations for numerous art fairs and agencies such as the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, DCCAH; Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association (NVFAA); Humanities Council of Washington, D.C.; Howard University, James C. Porter Colloquium; Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; the Washington Projects for the Arts; Salisbury University; Martha’s Table; DC Department of General Services and Democracy Fund.

Additionally, she has been commissioned to teach workshops, give commentary and present about her artwork by the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum; Luther College; WETA Television; Al Jazeera; WPFW 89.3 fm; WAMU | American University Radio; The Kojo Nnamdi Show; Howard University, James A. Porter Colloquium; David C. Driskell Center; the Phillips Collection; the African American Museum in Philadelphia; McDaniel College; Salisbury University; Harvey B. Gantt Center; American University and National Museum of African American History and Culture. Her solo exhibition, Successions: Traversing US Colonialism, curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, was hosted by the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center in 2021. She has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2016.

Available artwork by Amber Robles-Gordon

About PRINA SHAH
Prina Shah (b. Kenya) is a contemporary artist currently living in Nairobi, Kenya. Born in Kenya to Indian parents, Shah also grew up partially in the U.K.; her artistic work embraces the indeterminacy of her national identity, including a fascination with the formation of selfhood as it relates to a specific cultural context. In a creative practice spanning mixed media—including sculpture, painting, glasswork and less traditional materials such as human hair—Shah’s art challenges the notions of individualized identity within a communal whole. Shah uses meditation as the impetus and foundation of her work, drawing the viewer into a personal narrative and inviting the participant to share in her visual journey of interconnection as she explores what it means to be one among many.

Shah’s work has been included in numerous national and international exhibitions and has been acquired by the permanent collections of Finland’s Poikilo Kouvola Art Museum and the I&M Bank Collective in Kenya, as well as numerous private collections. She has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2022.

Available artwork by Prina Shah

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.

Gallery hours: By appointment only.

Morton Fine Art is located at 52 O St NW #302.

KESHA BRUCE | Take Me to the Water in East City Art

18 Sep
Kesha Bruce, Memory of Matala, 2022, 60″x48″, mixed media textile collage on canvas

About Take Me to the Water

Morton Fine Art is pleased to announce Take Me to the Water, a solo exhibition of mixed-media paintings by artist Kesha Bruce. An intuitive combination of painting, collage and textile art, Bruce’s work represents the culmination of a holistic creative practice developed by the artist over several decades. Her eighth exhibition with the gallery, Take Me to the Water will be on view from September 17 to October 11, 2022 at Morton’s Washington, DC space.

The wall works of Kesha Bruce are less discrete executions of a concerted vision than the steady accumulation of a long creative process. Referred to by the artist simply as paintings, these mixed-media compositions are in fact patchworks of painted fabric, individually selected from Bruce’s vast archive and pasted directly onto the canvas in a textile collage that can sometimes resemble a quilt. The result of a slow and perpetual artistic method, each work represents hours of treatment, selection and juxtaposition until the whole becomes manifestly greater than its parts. Bruce’s process ends with her titling of each work: a poetic articulation of what the work is at this point capable of expressing for itself.

Much like water, the routine behind Bruce’s artmaking is cyclical and in service to a greater equilibrium – a pointed contrast to many of the epitomic works that make up much of the traditional art histories of the past several centuries, and which tend to aggressively emphasize rupture, madness and unsustainability as the most fruitful mothers of invention. Bruce’s process is distinctly different, and points to more a promising alternative for artmaking, in which creativity and lived experience are inseparably intertwined. For Bruce, this means that art can be not only a form of self-care but an act of self-discovery. Noting that her color palette has become markedly warmer since she moved to Arizona (where she currently serves as the Director of Artist’s Programs for the state’s Commission on the Arts), the artist delineates her method as a form of strategic openness – making room and taking time to allow the materials to guide her toward their final form, rather than the other way around.

The show’s title, Take Me to the Water, alludes to a 1969 rendition of the traditional gospel song by Nina Simone at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Bruce locates something transcendent in the recording of Simone’s performance that encapsulates what any form of artmaking, at its best, can be: a conversation between oneself and the divine. Deftly aware of the elemental power of water as a force that follows its own paths and forms its own shapes, Bruce identifies her artistic process closely with this element, and notes how the transcendental effects which result from it can be as overwhelming and rhythmic as the ocean waves of Big Sur.

As an exhibiting artist for over 25 years, Bruce has steadily oriented her craft toward capturing and encouraging the process of artmaking as an end in its own right – a way both of making something new and taking stock of oneself. As an administrator who oversees the creative programming for the entire state of Arizona, Bruce is intuitively attuned to the reciprocal relationship between transcendent acts of self-expression and the quotidian struggle to survive. In this role, she is a mentor and advocate for hundreds of other artists; the example she sets in her own artistic practice, with its emphasis on personal growth over commercial capitulation, thus becomes a form of potent political praxis.

About Kesha Bruce
Kesha Bruce (b. 1975, Iowa) 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 the Puffin Foundation. Her work is included in the collections of The Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture (14 pieces), 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. She has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2011.

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.

Gallery hours: By appointment only.

Morton Fine Art is located at 52 O St NW #302.

Available Artwork by KESHA BRUCE

VONN CUMMINGS SUMNER featured in East City Art

5 Oct

MORTON FINE ART PRESENTS VONN CUMMINGS SUMNER KRAZY TIMES

By Editorial Team on October 4, 2021

Vonn Cummings Sumner, Krazy Times, 2021, 24″x24″, oil paint on panel.
On View: October 9 – November 3

Vonn Cummings Sumner’s contemporary depictions of Krazy Kat’s titular character build upon the comic strip’s longstanding influence on the art world at large.

Available Artwork by VONN CUMMINGS SUMNER

About Krazy Times
Morton Fine Art is pleased to present Krazy Times, a solo exhibition of new paintings and watercolors by artist Vonn Cummings Sumner, on view from October 9–November 3, 2021. Reflecting the artist’s longstanding interest in the career of famed American cartoonist George Herriman, Sumner’s recent works render the eponymous protagonist of Herriman’s Krazy Kat comic strip in settings and circumstances evocative of contemporary life.

Sumner was first introduced to Krazy Kat while under the tutelage of painter Wayne Thiebaud, whose love of Krazy Kat was shared by peers such as Philip Guston and Willem de Kooning. Appearing in newsprint from 1913 to 1944, Krazy Kat remains a keystone in the history of American cartooning, memorialized in part by the works of those it influenced. In the present decade, Krazy Kat has long since ceased publication; yet, the reinvigoration of its visual vocabulary by Sumner highlights its utility as a vehicle for investigating 21st-century themes.

Drawing from the original comic strip’s mediations on humanity—previously executed through tragic humor in a series of panels—Sumner depicts the titular character of Krazy Kat being followed by ghosts, peering at balloons floating just out of reach, and gazing at his reflection in a cerulean blue oasis, among other narratives collapsed into a singular image. Rendered in oil on panel as well as ink, gouache and pencil on paper, Sumner removes Krazy Kat from the landscapes of the comic strip, instead presenting such encounters in fields of seemingly endless white. In this sort of alternative dreamscape devoid of horizons, Sumner enables Krazy Kat to act as a projection of the artist or the viewer, embodying allegorical scenarios akin to lived experiences.

Partly created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sumner describes Krazy Kat as an “empathetic effigy” for processing a moment of great global change and loss. Sumner asks, “What do you paint when reality seems to be an absurd satire of itself?” Naturally, the answer is Krazy Kat, upon whom Sumner bestows new life. Bringing forth Krazy Kat’s curiosity and innocence, Sumner intertwines existential feelings with an earnest playfulness, producing accessible avenues into thoughtful contemplation. While the contemporary moment warrants heaviness, Sumner’s Krazy Kat paintings offer welcome reminders of optimism, inspiring joy in the face of Herculean challenges.

About VONN CUMMINGS SUMNER
Vonn Cummings Sumner grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and attended the University of California, Davis, where he studied closely with the celebrated painter and teacher, Wayne Thiebaud, among others. Vonn has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1998, and his work 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, Juxtapoz, Cartwheel Art, The Painter’s Table, Boom magazine, and Quick Fiction. Vonn’s work has been the subject of two solo museum shows: The Other Side of Here, at the Riverside Art Museum in 2008, and Stages, in 2011 at the Phillips Museum of Art in Pennsylvania. In 2021, his work was featured in the first museum survey tracing the influence of Wayne Thiebaud on contemporary art at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis.

Vonn currently lives and works in Santa Ana, CA, and is a Professor of Painting at Fullerton College.

He has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2010.

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.

Gallery hours:

  • By appointment only.

Mask required.

Morton Fine Art is located at 52 O St. NW #302.

Available Artwork by VONN CUMMINGS SUMNER