Tag Archives: morton fine art

VONN SUMNER talks music and art in Bomarr Blog

16 Oct

Background Noise, Vol 111: Vonn Sumner

UNCATEGORIZED

BACKGROUND NOISE, VOL 111: VONN SUMNER

MR_ADMIN

Vonn Sumner has had art in his bones for quite some time.

Growing up around art (his father was also an artist), it was no surprise that Vonn would eventually attend art school. It was at this art school, UC Davis, where he discovered artist Wayne Thiebaud was not only still alive, but teaching classes. Unfortunately, it would be another 2 years before Vonn met the criteria for attending one of Wayne’s classes, but that didn’t deter him. Vonn just started showing up. It was through this ambitious approach that he absorbed a lot of Wayne’s teachings. Something that proved invaluable to Vonn’s developing art pursuit.

Vonn’s paintings mix a bit of humor with occasional social commentary. He has a whole series of paintings depicting dumpster fires, which were particularly relevant during the chaotic 2020 we had.

He cites everyone from Guston to Chris Ware to R. Crumb to Buster Keaton as influences, and if you look close enough, you can see all of it in his work.Vonn-Sumner-Neo-Byzantine-UltravioletVonn-Sumner-Dumpster-Fire-lllVonn-Sumner-Bread-and-Circuses-IIVonn-Sumner-1Vonn-Sumner-DGAFVonn-Sumner-ParlanceVonn-Sumner-Watching-a-Dumpster-Fire

First album you bought?
“The Best of Blondie” on cassette tape, I was like 5 years old. I still love Blondie.

Last album you bought?
I just found a vinyl version of the classic underground “Grey Album” by DJ Danger Mouse. It is “unofficial” but still sounds great.

First concert?
My parents took me with them to concerts when I was very little. The earliest one I actually remember was Sha-Na-Na.

Last concert?
The Alabama Shakes

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
So many, of course… I think I will choose De La Soul: 3 Feet High and Rising. I was like 13 years old when it came out, and it was unlike anything I had heard before: so creative, so fresh, so funny, so wonderfully weird. I wore that tape out completely. Great cover art too.

Who is your musical hero?
Otis Redding. Talk about an ‘authentic voice’… direct. All heart.

How important is music to your creative process?
Music is extremely important to my creative process. It is almost as necessary as light, sometimes. Music opens me up, gets me out of my head and into my body. It goes directly to our emotional core, which, of course it is endlessly inspiring. I also love music that is able to incorporate multiple moods/styles and music that incorporates humor in various ways.

BONUS: What is your favorite album cover of all time (and why)?
Otis Redding Live in Europe from Stax / Volt in 1967… Because of the combination of that hot pink suit against the black background, plus the font/text.

BONUS #2: Any visual artist(s) you’d like to see answer these questions?
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
Jason Stopa
Loie Hollowell
Amy Sherald
Eleanor Ray

All Blues – Miles Davis
Japan – Pharaoh Sanders
Action Line – Dorothy Ash-
Govinda Jai Jai – Alice Coltrane
Wede Harer Guzo – Hailu Mergia & Dahlak Band
Tezeta – Mulatu Astatke
It Is What It Is – Blood Orange
I Can’t Stand It – The Velvet Underground
Making Time – The Creation
River Euphrates – Pixies
The Beast and Dragon, Adored – Spoon
House of Cards – Radiohead
Digital – Joy Division
That’s All I Need – Magic Sam
La Venia Bendita – Marco Antonio Solis

www.vonnsumner.com

Check out Vonn’s’s playlist below on Spotify. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes. You can browse ALL the Background Noise episodes right here.

Tune in to LISA MYERS BULMASH’s Visiting Artist Lecture at The North Seattle College of Art on Monday 10/25 from 12-1pm PDT or 3-4pm EST

15 Oct

LISA MYERS BULMASH, The Ingratitude of the Girl, 2021, 36″x48″, mixed media collage on panel
Detail of LISA MYERS BULMASH, The Ingratitude of the Girl, 2021, 36″x48″, mixed media collage on panel

Available Artwork by LISA MYERS BULMASH

KATHERINE TZU-LAN MANN in Bmore Art by Suzy Kopf

7 Oct

Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann Isn’t Apologizing for Beauty Anymore

Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann Isn’t Apologizing for Beauty Anymore

Mann’s wall-sized collages and installations rework and play with her own life and history, visually summarizing the collision of her upbringing

Collage can be loosely summarized as the coming together of contrasting elements to make a new whole. Bold colors or patterns are pushed up against representational forms to create a world that doesn’t adhere to the laws of gravity or perspective. We recognize this in the 100-year-old canvases of artists like Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Juan Gris (who currently has a show up at the Baltimore Museum of Art). Perhaps because of these origins of collage, it’s especially notable when a contemporary artist combines elements of themselves in their work, not just material from the world around them. 

Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann’s wall-sized collages and installations rework and play with her own life and history, visually summarizing the collision of her upbringing. Moving every two or three years through Asia, the US, and the Middle East as the daughter of an American foreign service officer father and a Taiwanese mother, homemaker, teacher, and graphic designer, Mann first dabbled with traditional Sumi-e ink techniques as a teen but didn’t learn to speak Chinese until college.

In her work, Mann simultaneously combines Eastern and Western influences, using extremely old mediums such as Sumi-e ink, invented in the first century AD in China, and contemporary ones such as Yupo paper, a plastic paper that is popular with water media artists because it repels water instead of absorbing it, allowing ethereal shapes that recall their watery origins to dry slowly.

Installation view of Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann: Water Ribbon at Morton Fine Art

In her practice, Mann creates space for herself to exist as a biracial person, something she says is a “lifelong struggle and burden” of constantly feeling out of place. The traditional Asian painting traditions are not fully hers, she feels, and neither is the thorny history of Western landscape painting, which is inherently tied to imperialism and colonialism. In her studio in the DC studio complex STABLE, Mann has both a well-worn Thomas Moran book and a similarly battered book of the Buddhist Mogao caves at Dunhuang, China, within arm’s reach. A self-identified landscape painter, she draws upon both histories of painting place, relating to her ancestors, who she describes being “destroyed by colonialism,” and the undeniable beauty of the work of the Hudson River School, problematic as they are.

I first saw a solo show of Mann’s work at Goucher College in 2015, and over the six years I’ve been admiring it since, it has become more chaotic, more layered, and, as Mann sees it, “more fragmented.” The pandemic caused great personal loss for the artist: Two of her grandparents passed away, one from COVID-19 and one most likely from pandemic-induced confinement. But it has also caused her to rethink the way she works. She also connects the start of these internal shifts to parenthood (she is the mother of 4-year-old Mae and 6-year-old Calvin), which has caused her to grow more accustomed to taking risks in her art and being less rigid. 

Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, Arch 2 (diptych), 2018, acrylic, sumi ink, silkscreen, and monoprint on paper, 60 x 120 inches
Installation view of Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann: Water Ribbon at Morton Fine Art

Many of the works in her current solo show, Water Ribbon, at DC’s Morton Fine Art (up until October 6), are a record of the last eighteen months, when Mann took care of her children during the day and worked for long chunks of the night in her studio. “I’m going to look back at the pandemic as this time of immense grief and loss,” she says. “But also, I’m going to look back at it as a time where I became much more connected to my kids.”

Before having children, Mann was a regular on the DMV college-adjunct circuit. Since having her son and daughter—and especially since the pandemic forced her to become a “preschool student” of immersion Mandarin (to support her daughter’s education, she says, laughing)—she and her partner have worked out a system where they split childcare and Mann is a full-time artist. Her ability to support herself with art sales and commissions speaks to her talent, but moreover, it is evidence of her work ethic. 

Coming out of MICA’s Hoffberger MFA program in 2009, she knew that there were not going to be galleries knocking down her door to work with her. Instead, she focused on open calls and began what has become a constant practice of sending out applications. The results have basically been a snowball of opportunities over the last twelve years.

“I applied to the Hamiltonian fellowship after grad school and when I got that they brought my work to art fairs,” she says. “A gallery saw a painting at an art fair and picked me up after I was finished with the fellowship. I was lucky that happened, but I did apply to it to begin with.” She also got good at accepting rejection and moving on. 

Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, Crust, Mantle, Core, 2021, acrylic and collage on paper, 60 x 60 inches
Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, Ley, 2020, acrylic, sumi ink, and collage on paper, 45 x 55 inches

This is not to imply Mann’s career has been without its professional challenges—she began to pursue public commissions because of a bad business deal. When she was pregnant with her son six years ago, she had gallery representation in New York, London, Los Angeles, and Toronto—an enormous professional milestone for many. And then, seemingly without warning, all but the Toronto gallery went out of business, one going bankrupt while owing Mann a substantial amount of money for works that had been sold. “It felt like, oh, you achieved this goal that you’re supposed to have in the art world. And then you ended up worse for it,” Mann says. “It felt like this lack of independence, a lack of freedom on my part to have control over my own destiny because all of these other people were players.”

But Mann isn’t dwelling in the past, and is instead focusing on ways to evolve her studio work alongside the large-scale commissions. For the works in her show at Morton Fine Art, “there was more bold cutting into forms and it’s a little bit more aggressive,” she says. “Whereas before, I was thinking about building these bodies and having these additions onto the bodies.”

Weathering this season of loss, Mann sees a “subtractive element” in her work where there had previously been additions, focusing more on “sharply cutting into forms to take things away and confuse the negative space more. What is negative space is not as apparent now as it was.” Where earlier collages focused on contrast, in the new works made in 2020, collage is becoming camouflage.

A single completed painting contains many “failed paintings,” Mann says, which have been recycled and pasted into new works, creating an overall “hybridity” that she is seeking. She works on paper, first laying it down on the floor and pouring ink onto it, and then pinning it to the wall so she can paint and collage in an immediate manner, responding to previous marks and allowing her plans to change as the work develops. 

Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, Dunhuang 1, 2016, acrylic and sumi ink on paper, 60 x 84 inches

Contrary to the traditional emphasis on sketching in art school, Mann doesn’t create sketches first unless working on a commission for a client. Her process-oriented works begin with an ink pouring, which “provides the rest of the direction of the future of the painting.” The resulting works are layered and confusing to behold because they seem to move constantly between flat and textural areas, a phenomenon that Mann recognizes from her training in traditional Chinese landscape painting, which also emphasizes shifting perspective. Sumi-e painting can be thought of as a kind of meditation that follows an extremely specific order of brush strokes to create such classical natural subjects as bamboo, cherry blossoms, and mountains. The repetition of subject matter and method has found its way into Mann’s work; botanical and decorative themes such as flowers and undulating bows have been motifs since the artist’s graduate school days. Over time, she feels that these symbols “take on a new form, new meaning, or become kind of diffused in their original meaning.” And for this reason, she returns to them, playing with how to make them over again.

Like most of us, it seems Mann is entering the next phase of the pandemic with a new acceptance of herself and her work. She no longer tries to explain away the inherently pleasant nature of much of the patterns, colors, and compositions of her work. “I originally felt like it was a flaw in the work that it was beautiful and therefore not serious,” she says. “I’ve come to not apologize for that.” 

She believes that the concept of beauty as trivial comes from the male and Western tradition of Abstract Expressionism, which she butted up against with Grace Hartigan, then-director of Hoffberger, in her first year of graduate school. Mann recalls Hartigan telling her that “pattern tickles the eye but does not touch the soul,” which was hard for her to move past. Mann began purposefully working with symbols of beauty to address this critique and in “acknowledgment of beauty and girlhood,” she explains. After the pandemic, it’s hard to really see the pursuit of pleasure as a problem.

Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, Water Ribbon, 2021, acrylic and sumi ink on paper, 90 x 60 inches

*****

Featured image: Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, Understory, 2021, acrylic, collage, and sumi ink on paper, 56 x 56 inches

Installation view of Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann: Water Ribbon at Morton Fine Art
Installation view of Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann: Water Ribbon at Morton Fine Art

All images courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art. Installation views by Jarrett Hendrix

Available artwork by KATHERINE TZU-LAN MANN

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

KATHERINE TZU-LAN MANN’s solo exhibition “Water Ribbon” reviewed in The Washington Post

2 Oct

Museums Review

In the galleries: Probing our relationships with living systems

By Mark Jenkins October 1, 2021 at 6:00 a.m. EDT

“Water Ribbon” by Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann is a vertical composition that’s 7½ feet high. (Morton Fine Art)
“Arch 3″ by Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann has a strong central focus that departs from the artist’s usual style. (Morton Fine Art)

…Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann is the most conventional of the five participants, at least in her choice of media. The Washington artist paints, usually on paper and often on a mammoth scale, with acrylic pigment and sumi ink. The ink links Mann’s style to historical Chinese painting, as does her nature imagery. Yet the crowded, layered pictures are mostly abstract. Mann begins by pouring pigment to make random patterns, which are then amended and extrapolated, partly by collage.

That synthesis — of flowing and improvisational with hard-edged and precise — yields tableaux that are dynamic and distinctive. The two Mann panoramas in “Empirical Evidence” — the larger almost 12 feet wide — are among the show’s highlights.

Anyone smitten with these sweeping pictures can easily find more, if not quite so expansive, examples at Morton Fine Art. The biggest offering is the title piece, “Water Ribbon,” a rare vertical composition that’s 7½ feet high. Many of the other pictures are, unusually for Mann, square or nearly so. Although they still suggest landscapes, such pictures as “Arch 3” have a stronger central focus than is typical of the artist’s style. Rather than meander every which way, Mann’s latest water ribbons coalesce into dazzling wholes.

Empirical Evidence Through Nov. 13 at Hamiltonian Artists, 1353 U St. NW.

Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann: Water Ribbon Through Oct. 6 at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St. NW, No. 302.

Available Artwork by KATHERINE TZU-LAN MANN

Victor Ekpuk | Kimpton Banneker Hotel | Washington, DC

1 Oct

Sep 30, 2021,07:00am EDT

Washington, D.C.’s Most Stylish Rooftop Bar Is Opening At The Kimpton Banneker Hotel On October 8

Katie Chang

Contributor Travel

Kimpton Banneker Hotel Lady Bird Rootfop Bar Washington DC benjamin white house le sel
Lady Bird is the sophisticated new rooftop bar at The Kimpton Banneker Hotel in Washington DC. THE KIMPTON BANNEKER HOTEL

After months of pandemic-related delays and setbacks, Washington, D.C.’s Kimpton Banneker Hotel is unveiling its highly anticipated bar, Lady Bird, on Friday, October 8. Set on the top floor of the buzzy Dupont Circle property that opened this summer, the sophisticated rooftop lounge inspired by former First Lady Claudia Alta Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson will offer craft cocktails and light bites Tuesday through Saturday evenings.

While there’s plenty of rooftop bars in the nation’s capital, Lady Bird sets itself apart from the competition. The aesthetic is unabashedly cozy and colorful, with spruce green walls, an oversized mural by area artist Meg Biram, and vintage tchoctchkes (like Japanese Kodeshi dolls and tea pots) that nod to Johnson’s love of traveling. In addition, Lady Bird offers uniquely intimate and unobstructed views of 16th Street’s historic rowhouses, churches, and The White House. And the hotel’s discreet address – it’s located in lively Dupont Circle, but easy to miss unless you’re looking for it – ensures a less rowdy and more laid-back vibe.

Kimpton Banneker Hotel Washington DC Hotel Travel Dupont Circle White House BENJAMIN roof
The Kimpton Banneker Hotel gets its name from Benjamin Banneker, an accomplished surveyor, … [+] THE KIMPTON BANNEKER HOTEL

Even better? Lady Bird is among many reasons why The Banneker is one of D.C.’s most exciting new hotels. Because here, nearly every detail has been considered. The name, for example, comes from Benjamin Banneker. A Renaissance man, Banneker was many things: a surveyor, astronomer – even the signs in the gym and guest room hallways are based on constellations – mathematician, and the first Black presidential appointee. “To this day, a lot of people don’t know about Banneker and all his contributions,” says general manager Raeshawna Scott. “After everything we went through in 2020, naming the hotel after him felt befitting.

Kimpton Banneker Hotel Washington DC Hotel Travel Dupont Circle White House Victor Ekpuk
Contemporary art is a focal point at The Kimpton Banneker Hotel. In the lobby, you’ll be greeted … [+] THE KIMPTON BANNEKER HOTEL

You’ll also notice thought-provoking, original art throughout, from the lobby – where you’re greeted with a striking mural titled “You Be Me, I Be You” by Nigerian-born artist Victor Ekpuk – to the accommodations, all the way up to Lady Bird. But at The Banneker, art is about far more than aesthetics and sprucing up a space. The entire collection was carefully curated with some of today’s most pressing issues (like race and gender) in mind.

Kimpton Banneker Hotel Washington DC Hotel Travel Dupont Circle White House MASON STUDIO
The Kimpton Banneker Hotel’s 144 rooms and suites are equal parts chic and comfortable thanks to the … [+] THE KIMPTON BANNEKER HOTEL

As for the 144 rooms and suites? They’re equal parts chic and comfortable– thanks to the efforts of Toronto-based Mason Studio – and have been designed to feel more like a cozy home away from home than a staid hotel. While all room categories are super-spacious, book one of the Art Studio Suites. With 475 square feet and an airy, open layout, they’ve got all the essentials for a well-lived life: those blissful signature Kimpton beds, contemporary furnishings, abstract art, and plenty of space to work or just lounge around.

Kimpton Banneker Hotel Washington DC Hotel Travel Dupont Circle White House le sel french
Le Sel is a contemporary, all-day French bistro led by Chef Laurent Hollaender. THE KIMPTON BANNEKER HOTEL

Le Sel, the hotel’s all-day eatery, is a French bistro with plenty of modern appeal. Helmed by Chef Laurent Hollaender, the kitchen excels in the classics (think buttery escargots, niçoise salad, and moules frites) and turns out wonderfully original dishes, too. (Don’t pass up on the grilled chicken thighs smothered with onion soubise and lardons. It sounds simple, but is craveable and deeply delicious.)

Though The Banneker has everything you need for a stylish stay in a convenient location, it’ll also serve as a hub and gathering space for the local community. “We’re going to use our common spaces for pop-up trunk shows and art exhibits with local creatives,” says Scott. “It’s not enough to just be in the community like other hotels, we want to be part of it.”

Check out my websiteKatie Chang

Available artwork by VICTOR EKPUK

New Painting Sculptures by JENNY WU

27 Sep

JENNY WU’s sculptural paintings transform liquid paint into sculpture, a process derived from making oil on canvas paintings and discovering the many layers of oil paint beneath the surface. These layers embody linear time, repetitive process and material characteristics. WU pours a thick coat of latex paint one color at a time on a glass surface allowing each layer to dry completely and repeating the process many times. She then cuts the dried paint to reveal layers of cross-section, which are then assembled into sculptures on a flat surface. The cross-section juxtaposes order and chaos: the consistent order of paint from old to new, and the imperfection of subtle differences in thickness. Each piece follows a specific pattern, uniting differences to present a systemic imagery. These works question our basic assumptions about what paintings and sculptures can be. Her work acknowledges the sensational and perceptual properties of materiality, and then transforms the materials from their original forms and purpose to present them within new contexts.

JENNY WU earned her MFA in Studio Art from American University in 2015 and her B.A.  in Studio Art and Architectural Studies from William Smith College in 2012.

She has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2021.

JENNY WU, $2000 ASAP, 2020, 14″x12″x2.5″, latex paint and resin on wood panel
Detail of $2000 ASAP
JENNY WU, A Very Stable Genius, 2019, 24″x18″x2.5″, latex paint and resin on wood panel
Detail of A Very Stable Genius

JENNY WU, Big Day for Social Media and FAIRNESS, 2020, 12″x12″x2.5″, latex paint and resin on wood panel
JENNY WU, Make A Deal, 2020, 10″x10″x2.5″, latex paint and resin on wood panel
Detail of Make A Deal

JENNY WU, Thank Union for Weekends, 2021, 24″x18″x2.5″, latex paint and resin on wood panel
Detail of Thank Union for Weekends

JENNY WU, The Lies Stuck, 2021, 18″x14″x2.5″, latex paint and resin on wood panel
Detail of The Lies Stuck
Detail 2 of The Lies Stuck
JENNY WU, Time is Running Out, 2020, 18″x14″x2.5″, latex paint and resin on wood panel
Detail of Time is Running Out

JENNY WU, Why It’s a Holiday, 2021, 20″x20″x2.5″, latex paint and resin on wood panel
Detail of Why It’s a Holiday

Acquire and view available artwork by JENNY WU.

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

http://www.mortonfineart.com

info@mortonfineart.com

(202) 628-2787 (call or text)

Virtual Gallery Talk: Successions: Traversing US Colonialism September 14, 6-7PM ETDC mixed-media artist Amber Robles-Gordon talks Successions with curator Larry Ossei-Mensah at American University

10 Sep

Collage by Amber Robles-GordonA
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center Fall exhibitions are on view through December 12. View our exhibitions, hours, and health and safety protocols.
Plan Your VisitInstallation view of "Successions"
Virtual Gallery Talk: Successions: Traversing US Colonialism
September 14, 6-7PM ETDC mixed-media artist Amber Robles-Gordon talks Successions with curator Larry Ossei-Mensah.

Successions is a conceptual juxtaposition that celebrates abstraction as an art form while leveraging it as a tool to interrogate past and current US policies within its federal district (Washington, DC) and territories (including Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands) that it controls. This event will be held virtually. Please register to receive the Zoom link via email.RegisterRead the Exhibition Catalog Online

Featuring essays by curator Larry Ossei-Mensah and Noel W Anderson.Ossei-Mensah headshot#AskACuratorDay
Featuring Successions curator Larry Ossei-Mensah

#AskACuratorDay is Wednesday, September 15! Larry will be on Twitter to answer your questions about Successions, his career as an independent curator, and more. Tweet your questions to @aumuseum_katzen and @youngglobal using hashtag #AskACuratorDay.Feminist Art History Conference
Online September 24-26

The conference builds on the legacy of feminist art-historical scholarship and pedagogy initiated by Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard at American University. With the goal of fostering a broad dialogue on feminist art-historical practice, the event will feature papers spanning a range of chronological, geographic, and intersectional topics.RegisterPlease consider making a contribution by becoming a member. No gift is too small, and your support matters now more than ever before.Give NowImages (top-bottom):

Amber Robles-Gordon, y mi bandera vuela mas alto que la tuya, and my flag flies higher than yours, 2020. Mixed media collage on canvas, 18 x 24 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Installation view of Successions: Traversing US Colonialism. Courtesy of Greg Staley. 

Ossei-Mensah headshot, photo credit: Anthony Artis.
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KATHERINE TZU-LAN MANN’s solo “Water Ribbon” highlighted in Baltimore Fishbowl

8 Sep

BmoreArt’s Picks: September 7-13

By Bmoreart Staff -September 7, 2020

BmoreArt’s Picks: September 7-13

BmoreArt’s Picks presents the best weekly art openings, events, and performances happening in Baltimore and surrounding areas.

This Week: We are featuring online events that you can participate in from the comfort of your own couch and some that you can safely leave the house for, plus a few calls for entry to get involved locally and nationally. Stay home, stay healthy, stay engaged in the arts.

BmoreArt’s Picks presents the best weekly art openings, events, and performances happening in Baltimore and surrounding areas. For a more comprehensive perspective, check the BmoreArt Calendar page, which includes ongoing exhibits and performances, and is updated on a daily basis.

To submit your calendar event, email us at events@bmoreart.com!Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann: Water Ribbon
Wednesday, September 8 | Ongoing through October 6
@ Morton Fine Art

Morton Fine Art is pleased to present Water Ribbon, a solo exhibition of new works on paper by Washington, D.C.-based artist Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, on view from September 8th – October 6th, 2021. Featuring a collection of recent pieces by the artist, the exhibition offers an evocative perspective on contemporary ecologies during a time at which environmental destruction and the consequences of climate change loom ever larger.

Utilizing acrylic, sumi ink, and collage, Mann draws from traditions of Chinese landscape painting to create mesmerizing, vibrant depictions of organic matter. Mann begins her process by pouring liquid pigments onto paper, allowing them to dry and yielding a stain of color from which the work is then based. Through an embrace of the indeterminate qualities of her materials—the ink or paint takes its own course, without the artist dictating its shapes or forms—Mann demonstrates a symbiotic relationship to her materials that serves as an apt metaphor for coexistence with the natural world. What results from Mann’s subsequent additions to the paper are rich, layered tableaus imbued with an affective interplay of ideas.

Of the challenges posed by her recent work, Mann describes her rumination upon “the
resuscitation of landscape painting in a world where ‘landscape’ is represented and defined through an ever-widening field of digital, graphic, and visual forms.” At times almost dizzying, the pieces shown in Water Ribbon eschew Western conventions of spatial perspective and inert figuration, instead embracing qualities of movement and monumentality central to Chinese landscape painting traditions.

Bright hues and a multiplicity of patterns are nestled among Mann’s illustrations of flora and fauna, with streams of ink evoking vines and riverbeds. Lying in the tension between the artificial and the organic, Mann’s renderings suggest an intertwining of systems rather than a constant grappling for control or domination. Splashes of ink seep across each image, traversing various shapes and forms. Elsewhere, translucent swathes of paint filter views of plant life, appearing like stained-glass windows through which to gaze.

“In my most recent work, I hope to live in the tradition of landscape painting, experiencing it for what it has always been: an occasion for radical experimentation and confrontation with the world, in the broadest sense of the term that sustains us,” said Mann. Amongst all the chaos and beauty, Water Ribbon proposes a mode of coexistence attuned to change, reciprocity, and an honoring of diverse forms of life.

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Kei Ito | Artist Talk
Thursday, September 9 • 6pm
@ UMD Stamp Gallery

Screening in the Univesity of Maryland Stamp Nanticoke Room

In conjunction with this exhibition, join the Stamp Gallery for an artist talk by artist Kei Ito, artist of acquisition Under My Skin #1.

Kei Ito is a visual artist working primarily with camera-less photography and installation art who is currently teaching at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in NYC. Ito received his BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology followed by the MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2016. Ito’s work addresses issues of deep intergenerational loss and connections as he explores the materiality and experimental processes of photography.

Ito’s work addresses issues of deep intergenerational loss and connections as he explores the materiality and experimental processes of photography, specifically the idea around visualizing the invisible such as radiation, memory and life/death. His work, rooted in the trauma and legacy passed down from his late grandfather – a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, meditates on the complexity of his identity and heritage through examining the past and current threats of nuclear disaster and his present status as an US-immigrant. Most of Ito’s prints are made with exposing light sensitive material to sunlight, often timing the exposures with his breath, influenced by his grandfather’s words describing the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima “…was like hundreds of suns lighting up the sky.” These X-ray like prints are usually installed in a way that provokes a monument.

He was the recipient of the 2020 Marva and John Warnock Biennial Artist in Resident Award and participated in other artist residencies such as: MASS MoCA, the Center for Fine Art Photography, CPW, and Creative Alliance. Ito’s works are collected by major institutions including: the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Norton Museum of Art, En Foco, the Candela Collection and California Institute of Integral Studies. His internationally recognized solo and group shows can be read in reviews and articles published by Washington Post, Hyperallergic, BmoreArt, Chicago Magazine, Studio Magazine, ArtMaze Magazine, and BBC Culture/Art.

Website: Kei-ito.com
Instagram: Kei.ito.art

Viewers who wish to join the lecture virtually on Zoom may do so at https://go.umd.edu/keiitotalk

Read more at BmoreArt.

AMBER ROBLES-GORDON’s “Successions” solo at American University featured in Culture Type, Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah

7 Sep

From California to Chicago, Tennessee to Maine, 15 of Summer’s Best Museum Exhibitions Remain on View This Fall

by VICTORIA L. VALENTINE on Sep 6, 2021 • 6:58 am

A BROAD SELECTION of exhibitions opened at art museums throughout the United States over the summer months. A great number of these shows remain on view, some through September, others further into the fall and beyond. Major traveling exhibitions of Bob Thompson, Joseph Yoakum, and Alma Thomas are underway. The first solo museum exhibitions of Caroline Kent and Simphiwe Ndzube are debuting in Chicago and Denver, while the first survey exhibitions of Jamal Cyrus and Jacolby Satterwhite are on view in Houston and Pittsburgh. Jennifer Packer and Cauline Smith have shows in Los Angels and Houston. In Nashville, a major retrospective of legendary sculptor William Edmondson is being staged, the first such presentation in two decades:


ARNOLD JOSEPH KEMP, Possible Bibliography, 2015-20 (52 black and white archival inkjet prints Canson Infinity Platine Fibre Rag; unique closed edition. 6.83 x 10 inches each. | © Arnold Joseph Kemp. Fine Art Collection, Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. Photo courtesy artist and Fourteen30 Contemporary, Portland

“Arnold Joseph Kemp: I would survive. I could survive. I should survive.” @ Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, University of California, Davis | June 3–Nov. 12, 2021

A one gallery show, “I would survive. I could survive. I should survive,” consists of photography, two paintings, and a sculpture by Chicago artist Arnold Joseph Kemp. The presentation is anchored by “Possible Bibliography” (2015-20), a grid-style installation of 52 photographs. In each of the images, Kemp’s hands are holding a book from his personal library by Hilton Als, James Baldwin, W.E.B. Du Bois, Okwui Enwezor, Glenn Ligon, Toni Morrison, Fred Moten, Adrian Piper, and Robert Farris Thompson, among many other authors. The work explores “how histories and canons impact and are impacted by the personal, the political, and the collective.”


Installation view of “Jamal Cyrus: The End of My Beginning,” Blaffer Art Museum, Houston, Texas (June 5-Sept. 26, 2021). | Courtesy Blaffer Art Museum

“Jamal Cyrus: The End of My Beginning” @ Blaffer Art Museum at University of Houston, Texas | June 5-Sept. 26, 2021

The first survey exhibition of Houston artist Jamal Cyrus spans 15 years, from 2005 to 2021. The recipient of the 2020 Driskell Prize, Cyrus considers how African American identity has evolved across time, borders, and Black political movements. More than 50 works are on view, spanning work on paper and denim, assemblage works, textiles, collage, installation, and performance. The exhibition is presented in partnership with “Levels & Layers: An Artist’s Reflections on Third Ward,” curated by Cyrus at the University Museum at Texas Southern University.


JOSEPH YOAKUM, “Rain Bow Bridge in in Bryce Canyon National Park near Henriville Utah,” stamped 1968. | Collection of the Roger Brown Study Collection

“Joseph E. Yoakum: What I Saw” @ Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois | June 12-Oct. 18, 2021

Born in Ash Grove, Mo., Joseph E. Yoakum (1891–1972), traveled internationally with several circuses and, during World War I, served in an all–African American noncombat unit in Europe. Living on Chicago’s South Side at age 71, he began drawing fascinating landscapes based in part on observations from his travels, but largely influenced by his imagination and spiritual vision. Over the next decade, he produced about 2,000 works. More than 100 of the pen, pencil, pastel, and watercolor on paper works are featured in “What I Saw.” The exhibition travels next to the Museum of Modern Art in New York and then on to the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas.


Installation view of “Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe,” Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colo., June 13-Oct. 10, 2021. Shown, from left, “The Bloom of the Corpse Flower,” 2020 (acrylic paint on canvas and mixed media, 94 1/2 x 79 inches) and “Bhekizwe Riding through the Garden of Earthly Delights,” 2020 (polyurethane resin, found spade, welded steel, found clothing and cloth, wood, acrylic paint, silicone, spray paint, foam coat, and acrylic eyes). | Courtesy Denver Art Museum

“Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe” @ Denver Art Museum in Colorado | June 13-Oct. 10, 2021

The first U.S. solo museum exhibition of Simphiwe Ndzube features a new body of work—eight paintings, sculpture, and sculptural paintings. The exhibition “integrates themes related to power, conflict, and the search for freedom through a Pink Universe,” a fantasy world invented by the artist that draws on magical realism and post-apartheid history. South African-born Ndzube lives and works in Los Angeles.


JENNIFER PACKER, “Idle Hands,” 2021 (oil on canvas, 90 x 84 inches / 228.6 x 213.36 cm). | The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Purchase with funds provided by the Acquisition and Collection Committee. 2021. Image courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, Corvi-Mora, London

“Jennifer Packer: Every Shut Eye Ain’t Sleep” @ Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in Calif. | July 1, 2021-Feb. 21, 2022

Jennifer Packer makes poetic portraits and floral still lifes. Her first exhibition on the West Coast, “Every Shut Eye Ain’t Sleep” features new and recent drawings and paintings by the New York-based artist.

The exhibition follows “Jennifer Packer: The Eye is Not Satisfied with Seeing” at Serpentine Galleries in London, Packer’s first solo show outside the United States. This fall, the traveling exhibition opens at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.


Installation view of “Alma Thomas: Everything is Beautiful,” Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Va. (July 9-Oct. 3, 2021). | Courtesy Chrysler Museum of Art

“Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful” @ Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Va. | July 9 – Oct. 3, 2021

The first African American woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (1972), Alma Thomas is associated with her adopted hometown of Washington, D.C., and celebrated for her large-scale, vibrantly colored abstract paintings made in the latter years of her life. “Everything is Beautiful” looks at her career through a wider lens, exploring the full spectrum of her creativity—her paintings, as well as her love of fashion, gardening, teaching, performing arts, and more. Accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog, the traveling exhibition also focuses on her roots in Columbus, Ga., where she was born.


Installation view of “Toward Common Cause,” Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago (July 15-Dec. 19, 2021). Shown, Rick Lowe’s “Black Wall Street Journey.” | Courtesy Smart Museum of Art

“Toward Common Cause: Art, Social Change, and the MacArthur Fellows Program at 40” @ Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago | July 15–Dec. 19, 2021

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the McArthur Foundation Fellows Program, “Toward Common Cause” presents new and re-contextualized works by 29 visual artists and former fellows, including Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Dawoud Bey, Mark Bradford, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Whitfield Lovell, Rick Lowe, Kerry James Marshall, Julie Mehretu, Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, Deborah Willis, and Fred Wilson. Presented at multiple venues throughout Chicago, the Smart Museum is the main site with related programming including “Carrie Mae Weems: A Land of Broken Dreams” at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center and “Toward Common Cause at the Stony Island Arts Bank.”


CAULEEN SMITH, “Camera, Pen, or Gun?,” 2017 (recto/verso: satin, poly-satin, silk-rayon velvet, indigo-dyed silk rayon velvet, indigo-dyed silk satin, rayon- polyester ribbon, acrylic fabric paint, satin cord, poly-silk tassel, and sequins, 73 x 47 inches). | The Mohn Family Trust

“Cauleen Smith: We Already Have What We Need” @ Contemporary Art Museum Houston in Texas | July 15-Oct. 3, 2021

Over the course of her career, Los Angeles-based artist Cauleen Smith “has harnessed acts of imagination and the power of revolutionary thinking to envision a better world.” Her latest exhibition features film, video, sculpture, textiles, installation, and drawing. The show’s title (“We Already Have What We Need”) is adapted from the video installation at the center of the presentation, which reminds us to take care of each other and the planet in order to sustain our existence. The theme carries throughout the works in the exhibition, emphasizing “acts of caring as antidotes to the injustices and inequities that shape our past and present.”

The exhibition coincides with “Give It or Leave It,” the traveling exhibition currently on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and “Cauleen Smith: Stars in My Pocket and the Rent is Due” at Charles White Elementary School. The site of the original campus of Otis Art Institute is now a satellite venue of LACMA.


BOB THOMPSON, “Stairway to the Stars,” circa 1962 (oil and photostat on Masonite, 40 × 60 inches / 101.6 × 152.4 cm). | Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York. © Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York

“Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine” @ Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine | July 20, 2021–Jan. 9, 2022

“This House Is Mine” is only the second museum retrospective of Bob Thompson (1937–1966) and the first dedicated to the artist in more than 20 years. Born in Louisville, Ky., his transatlantic career was highly productive during the short period he was active, from 1958-1966. Featuring paintings and works on paper drawn from more than 50 public and private collections, the exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog.


From left, LAURA WHEELER WARING, “Woman Wearing Orange Scarf,” 1940 (oil on canvas, 17 x 12 inches); and MAY HOWARD JACKSON, “Portrait Bust of an African,” 1899 (bronze, 21 x 12.75 inches). | Courtesy Tacoma Art Museum

“The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection” @ Tacoma Art Museum in Washington | July 31-Nov. 28, 2021

The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection has toured the world. Currently on view in Tacoma, Wash., the collection explores the African American experience through paintings, sculpture, photographs, rare books, letters, and manuscripts. The works date from 1595 to present. Unrivaled by other private collections, the holdings were assembled by Shirley and Bernard Kinsey over five decades.


Installation view of “Chicago Works: Caroline Kent,” MCA Chicago (Aug 3, 2021–Apr 3, 2022). | Photo by Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

“Chicago Works: Caroline Kent” @ Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago | Aug. 3, 2021-April 3, 2022

The first solo museum exhibition of Chicago artist Caroline Kent is a site-specific installation titled “Victoria/Veronica: Making Room.” Staged in an immersive domestic environment, the presentation features large-scale abstract paintings, sculptures, sound, and architectural interventions.


WILLIAM EDMONDSON (American, 1874-1951), “Bess and Joe,” circa 1930-40 (limestone, 17 ¼ × 20 ¼ × 10 ½ inches). | Gift of Salvatore Formosa Sr., Mrs. Pete Formosa Sr., and Mrs. Rose Formosa Bromley and Museum Purchase through the Stallworth Bequest

“The Sculpture of William Edmondson: Tombstones, Garden Ornaments, and Stonework” @ Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, Nashville, Tenn. | Aug. 12-Oct. 31, 2021

The first major museum exhibition of Tennessee-born William Edmondson (c. 1874-1951) in 20 years draws from public and private collections and features 20 works from Cheekwood, the largest repository of the artist’s work. After retiring from a series of manual labor jobs, Edmondson received a divine calling and began carving chunks of salvaged limestone and street curbs into modernist sculptures, gravestones, and garden ornaments. In 1937, he became the first African American artist to have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A new fully illustrated catalog accompanies the exhibition.


JACOLBY SATTERWHITE, “We Are In Hell When We Hurt Each Other,” 2020 (HD digital video). | © Jacolby Satterwhite, Courtesy the artist

“Jacolby Satterwhite: Spirits Roaming on the Earth” @ Miller Institute for Contemporary Art at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa. | Aug. 14-Dec. 5, 2021

The first major solo exhibition of Jacolby Satterwhite, “Spirits Roaming on the Earth” surveys 10 years of his conceptual practice, spanning video, sculpture, installations, dance tracks, and performance. A new monograph titled “How lovly is me being as I am” accompanies the exhibition.


DAVID HARTT, “The Histories (after Duncanson),” 2020 (tapestry: polyester, cotton, wool, polyester cotton, acrylic, cashmere, 113 1/16 × 174 inches / 287.2 × 442 cm). | Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Kerry James Marshall and Cheryl Lynn Bruce, 2021.13

“Hammer Projects: David Hartt” @ Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Calif. | Aug. 21, 2021-Jan. 2, 2022

David Hartt’s single gallery show is a multimedia installation “examining the relationships between culture, geography, and colonial histories in the Americas in the 19th century.” The installation employs sound and textiles, including a tapestry based on “Blue Hole on the Little Miami River” (1851), the painting by Robert S. Duncanson (1821–1872). A Canadian artist, Hartt lives and works in Philadelphia.


AMBER ROBLES-GORDON, “The eternal altar for the women forsaken and souls relinquished. Yet the choice must always remain hers. El altar eterno de las mujeres abandonadas y las almas renunciadas. Sin embargo, la elección siempre debe ser de ella.,” 2020 (mixed media collage on canvas, 18 x 24 inches). | © Amber Robles-Gordon, Courtesy the artist

“Successions: Traversing US Colonialism: Amber Robles-Gordon” @ American University Museum, Washington, D.C. | Aug. 28-Dec. 12, 2021

“Successions” presents abstract paintings, collages, and quilts produced by Washington-D.C.-based artist Amber Robles-Gordon in 2020 and 2021. Using the tools of abstraction, Robles-Gordon questions “who has access to resources, citizenship, and the right to sovereignty,” in the District of Columbia, where voting representation in Congress remain elusive, and the U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands,. Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, the exhibition is accompanied by a new publication. CT

BOOKSHELF
“The Sculpture of William Edmondson: Tombstones, Garden Ornaments, and Stonework” documents the retrospective hosted by Cheekwood Estate & Gardens. The new fully illustrated catalogs, “Bob Thompson: This House is Mine” and “Alma W. Thomas: Everything is Beautiful” accompany major traveling exhibitions. “Joseph E. Yoakum: What I Saw” documents the exhibition of the same name, another traveling show. “Oracles Of The Pink Universe: Simphiwe Ndzube” accompanies the artist’s first solo museum exhibition. “Jennifer Packer: The Eye Is Not Satisfied with Seeing” and “Jacolby Satterwhite: How lovly is me being as I am” are forthcoming in November. “Jamal Cyrus: The End of My Beginning” is forthcoming in January. “David Hartt: The Histories” is forthcoming in February. Earlier publications include “David Hartt: For Everyone a Garden” and “Stray Light,” a time capsule that assembles Hartt’s photographs of the Johnson Publishing Building in Chicago, shortly before it was sold. Also consider, The Kinsey Collection.