Tag Archives: Mark Jenkins

VICTOR EKPUK’s solo “These Moments” reviewed in The Washington Post

27 May

Washington Post ~ In the galleries: Powerful messages that require few words

By Mark Jenkins May 25, 2017

 Victor Ekpuk’s “Still I Rise,” acrylic on paper, on view in “These Moments,” through May 31 at Morton Fine Art. Some of the pieces in the D.C. artist’s show were inspired by his recent four-month residency in his homeland of Nigeria. (Victor Ekpuk/Courtesy Morton Fine Art)

Some of the pictures in Victor Ekpuk’s “These Moments,” like his earlier ones, feature ideograms derived from Nsibidi, an ancient African writing system. But the most forceful piece in the Morton Fine Art show contains just one symbol: a crosshairs bull’s eye over a faceless man’s heart. The figure in “Still I Rise” is on his knees with his hands up, one in a gesture of surrender, but the other clenched into a fist. The D.C. artist is thinking not of his native Nigeria, but of places such as Ferguson, Mo. 

Other pieces were inspired by Ekpuk’s recent four-month residency in the land of his birth, where he was struck by local idioms in which “head” refers to a person’s mind or mood. That resulted in several sculptural paintings, all titled “Head” plus a number, on shaped wood panels. Ekpuk has a strong graphic sense, and snipping his images to their essential outlines gives then even more punch.

In the nearly all-red “Head 2,” Nsibidi characters fill the face and neck, suggesting someone stuffed with thoughts. Yet there’s less text in these artworks than in previous groupings, and it’s sometimes pitted against elementary geometry, such as the horizontal stripes of “Head 7.” Executed mostly in black and red, with deep blue as an occasional counterpoint, these drawings and paintings are strikingly direct. “Still I Rise” is the only one that could double as a protest placard, but all are as immediate as street posters.

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

 

MAYA FREELON ASANTE’s “Impermanence” reviewed in Washington Post

29 Dec

the washington post logo

 

In the Galleries

by Mark Jenkins

December 23, 2015

 

 

Maya Freelon Asante
Dyed, crumpled tissue paper is the basis for the works in Maya Freelon Asante’s “Impermanence,” but that fundamental material takes many forms at the Morton Fine Art show. The Baltimore artist’s “Evidence/Nothing” series consists of twisted paper forms mounted on wood. Some of the other pieces are prints derived from wetly inked paper spun on a flat wheel. A few compositions incorporate old family photos, a celebration of personal heritage but also an expression of grief over the death of a child.

All of the works hang on the gallery’s walls, but some are partly sculptural. In addition to the ones made of tangled tissue, “Shattered/Whole” arrays seeds and shards of glass atop its pink-spattered paper. Yet Asante demonstrates that 3-D elements are not necessary to effect a sense of depth. The show’s standout is “Dark Matter,” a monoprint whose green and blue forms conjure motion, distance and gem-like facets. It appears both liquid and crystalline, impermanent and eternal.

 

Shattered Whole, 30"x20", tissue paper, ink, glass, seeds and resin

Shattered Whole, 30″x20″, tissue paper, ink, glass, seeds and resin

 

 

Dark Matter, 58"x44", spinning tisue paper ink mono print

Dark Matter, 58″x44″, spinning tisue paper ink mono print

Impermanence: Maya Freelon Asante On view through Jan. 5 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

Click HERE to view available artwork by MAYA FREELON ASANTE.

CHARLES WILLIAMS’ “Swim” reviewed in Washington Post

13 Oct

 

the washington post logo

Museums
In the galleries: No day at the beach

Swim, 30"x30", oil on panel

A self-portrait by Charles Williams in the exhibit “Swim,” at Morton Fine Art. (Courtesy Charles Williams and Morton Fine Art)
By Mark Jenkins October 9 at 11:57 AM
In the self-portraits of “Swim,” Charles Williams presents himself in goggles and other aquatic paraphernalia, his muscles taut and his skin burnished. The South Carolina artist, however, isn’t bragging about his prowess in the water. He actually has a powerful fear of it, in part because of a childhood incident in which he nearly drowned. The three series gathered in this Morton Fine Arts show are quite different, but all address Williams’s fraught relationship with the sea.

The largest works are realistic paintings of yellow sand and frothy surf under night skies. These are based on photos Williams took while wading in the water and experiencing — the show’s catalogue reports — “shallow breaths, a quickened heartbeat and trembling hands.” That anxiety is not conveyed by the pictures, which are calm and precisely rendered, even if the blackness above the water does indicate that this is no day at the beach.

Even darker are the small oils of waves at nighttime, entirely in black. The water’s motion and contours are depicted entirely by line and texture, and visible only when the light hits at a suitable angle. These paintings resemble engravings and bas-relief sculptures.

Although Williams is no impressionist, the self-portraits are a bit looser than his large surf pictures. Most of them are painted on Mylar, which lacks the absorbency of canvas and thus gives a more immediate appearance. Sheer white, apparently representing harsh sunlight, obliterates areas of the image. These ephemeral qualities, however, are countered by the strength of the artist’s features and form. Even when the subject is simply water and air, Williams’s style always feels substantial.

Swim: Charles Williams On view through Oct. 13 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. http://www.mortonfineart.com.

 

Lost and Found 4, 72"x96", oil on mylar

Charles Williams. “Lost and Found 4.” (Courtesy Charles Williams and Morton Fine Art)

NATALIE CHEUNG’s “Facsimile” and ANDREI PETROV’s “B.C./A.D” reviewed in the Washington Post

10 Apr

the washington post logo

 

 

“Cappadocian Field Trip” and other abstract oil paintings by Andrei Petrov evoke erosion. (Andrei Petrov/Courtesy of Morton Fine Art)

“Cappadocian Field Trip” and other abstract oil paintings by Andrei Petrov evoke erosion. (Andrei Petrov/Courtesy of Morton Fine Art)

 

April 10, 2015

NATALIE CHEUNG’s “Facsimile” and ANDREI PETROV’s “B.C./A.D.” reviewed in the Washington Post

Natalie Cheung & Andrei Petrov

Photograms and chemigrams are both forms of camera-less photography yet have a very different feel. Natalie Cheung illustrates the contrast with “Facsimile,” at Morton Fine Art. The smaller photograms, created by placing objects on photo paper and then exposing it, are hard-edged, black-and-white and essentially tidy. The chemigrams, painted with chemicals on photo paper, are larger and looser. The billowing black and red-brown forms suggest ink painting but also, at their most ominous, blood-
spatter patterns. One piece resembles a razor blade, dripping with black plasma. Even if it may not be what the Washington artist intended, these pictures are beguilingly dark, fluid and strange.

The abstract oils of Andrei Petrov’s “B.C./A.D.,” also at Morton, evoke glaciation, erosion and water seeping through rock. Such associations fit the Washington-born New York artist’s method: He both builds and subtracts from his paintings, scraping and sanding to achieve a hard-worked surface and compositions that feature seeming cracks and crevices. The colors include some bright blues but are mostly shades that suggest minerals. Although “Swiss Bliss” somewhat resembles a landscape, most of the works lack that picture’s sense of distance. Whatever it is that Petrov depicts, he puts the viewer very close to its center.

Facsimile: Alternative Process Photographs by Natalie Cheung and B.C./A.D.: Nature-Based Abstract Oil Paintings by Andrei Petrov On view through April 16 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. http://www.mortonfineart.com

Washington Post features “Timeless Remnants” – MAYA FREELON ASANTE, GA GARDNER & CHOICHUN LEUNG

7 Oct

The Washington Post, “In the Galleries” section, Sunday, October 5, 2014

by Mark Jenkins

Timeless Remnants Review WaPo Crop more

Shipment of KESHA BRUCE’s new “Guardians” arriving soon!

5 Aug

Here is a sneak peek of KESHA BRUCE’s latest works off the easel in her continuing “The Guardians” series.  Don’t miss out on these amazing new works due to arrive at Morton Fine Art this week!

The Washington Post’s critic Mark Jenkins wrote this about “The Guardians” in Jan 2014:

“Spurred by a vision of a figure she saw standing at the foot of her bed, Kesha Bruce has executed nearly 200 mixed-media paintings of creatures she calls “The Guardians.” The Iowa-bred artist, who lives in France, draws on African iconography for these pictures, some of which are at Morton Fine Art. Most of the figures are ghostly, often faceless, like things seen in a half-awake state…

..Yet the specters become palpable because of their hot, earthy colors and forceful brushwork. Indeed, the vigor suggests another tradition altogether: abstract expressionism. While the pictures are clearly representational, they’re also exercises in sheer painting. Areas of clean, bold color abut mottled regions; scraps of collaged fabric and textile-like circular patterns contrast the figures’ streamlined forms. Bruce’s guardians may be dream-time wisps, but her painting makes them solid and potent.”

Kesha Bruce, Untitled 2, 48"x48", mixed media on canvas

Kesha Bruce, Untitled 2, 48″x48″, mixed media on canvas

Kesha Bruce, Altir, 24"x24" Mixed Media on Canvas

Kesha Bruce, Altir, 24″x24″ Mixed Media on Canvas

Kesha Bruce, Luki, 28"x20", Mixed Media on Canvas

Kesha Bruce, Luki, 28″x20″, Mixed Media on Canvas

Kesha Bruce,Saura, 24"x24" Mixed Media on Canvas

Kesha Bruce,Saura, 24″x24″ Mixed Media on Canvas

Kesha Bruce, Elini, 24"x24" Mixed Media on Canvas

Kesha Bruce, Elini, 24″x24″ Mixed Media on Canvas

Kesha Bruce, Untitled, 48"x48", mixed media on canvas

Kesha Bruce, Untitled, 48″x48″, mixed media on canvas

 

Please contact Morton Fine Art for pricing and availability!

(202) 628-2787

mortonfineart@gmail.com

http://www.mortonfineart.com