Tag Archives: morton fine art

KESHA BRUCE | Take Me to the Water | Martin Cid Magazine

25 Sep
Kesha Bruce
Kesha Bruce Gifts for Mami Wata, 2022 40 x 30 in. Mixed-media Textile Collage on canvas Courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist

ART

New Mixed-media Paintings by Kesha Bruce at Morton Fine Art Represent a Crossroads Between Poetry and Praxis

THE FRUITION OF A LONG AND INTUITIVE PROCESS, BRUCE’S WORKS SUGGEST A CONSTELLATION OF SIGNSGREATER THAN THE SUM OF THEIR PARTS.

BY ART MARTIN CID MAGAZINE

SEPTEMBER 9, 2022

Washington, D.C. – Morton Fine Art is pleased to announce Take Me to the Water, a solo exhibition of mixed-media paintings by the 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, D.C. space (52 O St NW #302).

Kesha Bruce
Kesha Bruce Waves Singing for the Moon, 2022 40 x 30 in. Mixed-media Textile Collage on canvas Courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist

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.

Kesha Bruce
Kesha Bruce She was Born to Water, 2022 60 x 48 in. Mixed-media Textile Collage on canvas Courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist

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.

Kesha Bruce
Kesha Bruce Memory of Matala, 2022 60 x 48 in. Mixed-media Textile Collage on canvas Courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist

Kesha Bruce (b. 1975, Iowa). Born and raised in Iowa, Bruce completed a BFA from the University of Iowa before earning an MFA in painting from Hunter College in New York City. 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.

In addition to her studio practice, Bruce has been the Artist Programs Manager at the Arizona Commission on the Arts since 2019. She also serves as the Board Chair of Tessera Art Collective, a non-profit organization that supports and elevates the work and practices of BIPOC women artists working in abstraction. Bruce is also co-founder of Blac k Girl Basel – the only event during Miami Art Week intentionally created for Black women artists, creatives, entrepreneurs, activists and cultural change-makers.

Kesha Bruce
Kesha Bruce Gorée Kept Her Secrets, 2022 60 x 48 in. Mixed-media Textile Collage on canvas Courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist

Morton Fine Art

Founded in 2010 in Washington D.C. 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.

52 O St NW #302, Washington, DC 20001, United States

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

KESHA BRUCE | A Picture Gallery of the Soul | Katherine E. Nash Gallery | University of Minnesota

23 Sep

Katherine E. Nash Gallery

Previous

A Black man looks directly at an old fashioned 1960's camera snapping a self-portrait.

Kwame Brathwaite
Untitled (Kwame Brathwaite Self Portrait at AJASS Studios), 1964 c., printed 2016
Archival pigment print, mounted and framed, 30 x 30 in, 76.2 x 76.2 cm.
Courtesy of the artist and Philip Martin Gallery, Los Angeles.

Photographic portrait of a young Black woman with bright red braids looks serenely at the camera as she tilts her head slightly to the side.

Salimah Ali (born 1954)
Dare (Portrait of Ugochi Egonu), 2019. Pigmented inkjet print.
Image 20 × 13 ³/₈ in. (50.8 × 34 cm), sheet 22 × 15 ³/₈ in. (55.9 × 39.1 cm).
Courtesy of the artist.

Six photographic images arranged in the shape of a cross feature a woman, at times standing or seated in a living room, in various garments and poses.

Anthony Barboza (born 1944)
Requiem of Rain, 2014. Pigmented digital prints.
Each image 16 ¼ × 23 in. (41.3 × 58.4 cm), each sheet 20 × 24 in. (50.8 × 61 cm).
Courtesy of the artist.

Lola Flash, DJ Kinky.

Lola Flash (born 1959), DJ Kinky, London, 2003. From the [sur]passing series.
Pigmented inkjet print from 4 × 5 film transparency, 60 × 48 in. (152.4 × 121.9 cm).
Courtesy of the artist.

Tintype photograph of a Black woman sitting with a baby on her lap with text written directly on the right side of the photograph.

Goodridge Brothers Studio (1847 – 1922)
Gertrude Watson Goodridge and William O. Goodridge, Jr., 1883.
Inscribed in plate: “age 3 months/Taken June 18, 1883/W. O. Goodridge Jr.” Tintype, 3 ⁷/₁₆ × 2 ½ in. (8.7 × 6.4 cm).
University of Minnesota Libraries, Department of Archives and Special Collections.

Photographic portrait of a Black woman in Elizabethan dress who appears to float against a black background with the ruffles of her dress in motion.

Ayana V. Jackson (born 1977)
Consider the Sky and the Sea, 2019. From the series Take Me to the Water.
Archival pigment print on German etching paper, 46 ⁷/₈ × 42 ⁷/₈ in. (119 × 109.04 cm).
Courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim.

Photographic image of the back of a Black state trooper overlooking a white supremacist group protesting in front of a government building in South Carolina. White supremacists actively wave the confederate flag and hold up pro Ku Klux Klan signs.

Stephen Marc (born 1954) Untitled (Columbia, South Carolina), 2015.
Digital photograph/inkjet print, 16 × 24 in. (40.6 × 61 cm).
Courtesy of the artist.

Portrait of a shirtless and masked Black father, with a large scar that runs down the length of his stomach, holds his son during a gathering at George Floyd Square the Minneapolis during the summer of 2020.

Nancy Musinguzi (born 1991)
Son of Sons, 2020.
Pigmented inkjet print, image 63 ½ × 42 in. (161.3 × 106.7 cm), sheet 63 ½ × 42 in. (161.3 × 106.7 cm).
Courtesy of the artist.

Photographic self-portrait of a Black woman from the nose down with bare shoulders who holds a sparkly polka dot fabric draped from her mouth to create a triangular shape that covers her body from view.

Keisha Scarville (born 1975)
Untitled, 2016. From the series Surrogate Skin.
Archival inkjet print, 36 × 30 in. (91.4 × 76.2 cm).
Courtesy of the artist and Higher Pictures Generation, New York.

Photographic portrait of Minnesota’s first African American lawyer, Frederick Lamar McGhee, dressed in a suit and bowtie.

Harry Shepherd (1856–?)
Frederick (or Fredrick) L. McGhee ( 1861–1912), ca. 1890.
Digital copy of cabinet photograph, 6 ¼ × 4 ¼ in. (15.9 × 10.8 cm).
Minnesota Historical Society. por 11265 r2.

Photographic portrait of African American conceptual artist David Hammons seen shirtless and bent over holding his hands together in his Los Angeles studio.

Bruce W. Talamon (born 1949)
David Hammons Slauson Avenue Studio, Los Angeles, 1974. From the Body Print Series. Digital gelatin silver print, image 20 × 16 in. (50.8 × 40.6 cm), sheet 24 × 20 in. (61 × 50.8 cm).
Copyright 2021 Bruce W. Talamon.
All Rights Reserved. Courtesy of the artist.

An array of layered photographs featuring an urban cityscape covered with advertisements including the 1999 “I am Nas” album cover featuring the Black musician wearing prosthetics and makeup to mimic the mask of Tutankhamun.

​​Shawn Walker (born 1940)
From Be-Bop to Illusion #1, 2010.
Pigmented inkjet print, image 12 ½ × 19 in. (31.8 × 48.3 cm), sheet 16 × 24 in. (40.6 × 61 cm).
Courtesy of the artist.Next

A Picture Gallery of the Soul
September 13 – December 10, 2022

Rightly viewed, the whole soul of man is a sort of picture gallery, a grand panorama, in which all the great facts of the universe, in tracing things of time and things of eternity, are painted. — Frederick Douglass

About the Exhibition
The Katherine E. Nash Gallery presents A Picture Gallery of the Soul, a group exhibition of over 100 Black American artists whose practice incorporates the photographic medium. Sampling a range of photographic expressions from traditional photography to mixed media and conceptual art and spanning a timeframe that includes the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, the exhibition honors, celebrates, investigates, and interprets Black history, culture, and politics in the United States.

From the daguerreotypes made by Jules Lion in New Orleans in 1840 to the Instagram post of the Baltimore Uprising made by Devin Allen in 2015, photography has chronicled Black American life and Black Americans have defined the possibilities of photography. Frederick Douglass, a former enslaved person, and nationally prominent abolitionist recognized the quick, easy and inexpensive reproducibility of photography. He presciently developed a theoretical framework for understanding the implications of photography on public discourse in a series of four lectures. The exhibition title comes from Douglass’ Lecture on Pictures, delivered in Boston in 1861 during the Civil War.

Related Exhibitions
Gordon Parks High School Student Scholar Projects
September 13 – October 8
Quarter Gallery, Regis Center for Art

The Eyes See What the Heart Feels: From the Archives of Photographer & Painter Adger Cowans
September 12, 2022 – January 31, 2023 at the Elmer L. Andersen Library

Panel Discussion with Adger Cowans and guests | Thursday, Sept 22 | 9:30 – 11:00 am Elmer L. Andersen Library, Rm 120, Register here
Reception | Wednesday, Sept 21, 5:30-8:30 pm Elmer L. Andersen Library

Related Events
Public Program | Thursday, Sept 22 | 6:00 – 7:00 pm CDT | InFlux Space, Regis Center for Art

Presentation with the exhibition curators and guest speakers
Cornell University Professor Cheryl Finley and photographer Adger Cowans
Event Registration Now Closed – Maximum Attendance Reached

Public Reception | Thursday, Sept 22 | 7:00 – 9:00 pm CDT|Katherine E. Nash Gallery
Come celebrate with the curators and visiting guests
RSVP required: https://z.umn.edu/RegisRSVP

Spoken Word Event | Wednesday, Oct 12 |12:15 pm CDT | InFlux Space, Regis Center for Art
Program with Ty Chapman, Keno Evol, and Andrea Jenkins
RSVP required: https://z.umn.edu/RegisRSVP
Also join us for a tour of the exhibition after the Spoken Word event at 2:00 PM

Writers Reading Event | Thursday, Nov 17 | 12:15 pm CDT | InFlux Space, Regis Center for Art
Program with Mary Moore Easter, G.E. Patterson, and Davu Seru
RSVP required: https://z.umn.edu/RegisRSVP

Artists in the Exhibition
Salimah Ali, Devin Allen, The Rev. Henry Clay Anderson, Jean Andre Antoine, Thomas E. Askew, Radcliffe Bailey, J. P. Ball, John L. Banks, Anthony Barboza, Ronald Barboza, Miranda Barnes, C. M. Battey, James “Jimmy” Baynes, Endia Beal, Arthur P. Bedou, Hugh Bell, Dawoud Bey, Mark Blackshear, Kwame Brathwaite, Sheila Pree Bright, George O. Brown, Nakeya Brown, Kesha Bruce, Crystal Z Campbell, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Micaiah Carter, Charles Chamblis, Vanessa Charlot, Albert Chong, Tiffany L. Clark, Mark Clennon, Tameca Cole, Florestine Perrault Collins, Bill Cottman, Adger Cowans, Gerald Cyrus, Louis Draper, Barbara DuMetz, Mara Duvra, John Edmonds, Dudley Edmondson, Cydni Elledge, Awol Erizku, Nona Faustine, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Al Fennar, Alanna Fields, Lola Flash, Krista Franklin, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Russell Frederick, Tia-Simone Gardner, Courtney Garvin, Bill Gaskins, John F. Glanton, Tony Gleaton, Goodridge Brothers, Kris Graves, Walter Griffin, Allison Janae Hamilton, Lucius W. Harper, Charles “Teenie” Harris, Daesha Devón Harris, L. Kasimu Harris, LeRoy Henderson, Jon Henry, Chester Higgins, Bobby Holland, Mildred Howard, Earlie Hudnall, Ayana V. Jackson, Frank Jackson, Leslie Jean-Bart, Rashid Johnson, Caroline Kent, Dionne Lee, Fern Logan, Stephen Marc, Robert H. McNeill, Ozier Muhammad, Nancy Musinguzi, Bruce Palaggi, Gordon Parks, Ebony G. Patterson, Howardena Pindell, John Pinderhughes, Carl Robert Pope, Jr., Deborah Roberts, Herb Robinson, Bobby Rogers, Keris Salmon, Keisha Scarville, Addison N. Scurlock, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Jamel Shabazz, Harry Shepherd, Coreen Simpson, Lorna Simpson, Marvin and Morgan Smith, Ming Smith, Jovan C. Speller, Bruce W. Talamon, Elnora and Arthur Chester Teal, Hank Willis Thomas, Richard A. Twine, James Van Der Zee, Shawn Walker, Augustus Washington, Carrie Mae Weems, Carla Williams, Deborah Willis.

Exhibition Catalog
The exhibition catalog provides additional context on the connections between Black American history and culture and the photographic process. Co-published with University of California Press, the catalog includes a full-page image, statement, and biography for each artist in conjunction with essays by prominent scholars and artists Cheryl Finley, crystal am nelson, Seph Rodney, and Deborah Willis. The U of M Bookstore now has the book in stock.

Sponsorship
The organizers gratefully acknowledge The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, Kate and Stuart Nielsen, Metropolitan Picture Framing, BluDot and The Givens Foundation for African American Literature, whose generous support has made this project possible.

The exhibition is organized by independent curator Herman J. Milligan, Jr. and Howard Oransky, Director of the Katherine E. Nash Gallery. It includes a display of related historical material curated by University Librarian Deborah Ultan and a program of recorded music curated by Herman J. Milligan, Jr. A Picture Gallery of the Soul is co-sponsored by the Department of African American & African Studies, the Department of Art History, the Department of History, the Race, Indigeneity, Gender & Sexuality Studies Initiative, the Office for Public Engagement, the Imagine Fund, and the University Libraries, including the Archie Givens Sr. Collection of African American Literature.

Available Artwork by KESHA BRUCE.

KESHA BRUCE | The Truth in This Art Podcast

22 Sep

The Truth In This Art – A Baltimore Podcast « »Artist Kesha Bruce

a day ago 39:06 

 

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Brief summary of episode:

Kesha Bruce, 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.

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, D.C. 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.

The Truth In This Art

The Truth In This Art is a podcast interview series supporting vibrancy and development of Baltimore & beyond’s arts and culture.

Mentioned in this episode:

Kesha Bruce
Come see Kesha Bruce’s 8th exhibition with Morton Fine Art starting Sept. 17

To find more amazing stories from the artist and entrepreneurial scenes in & around Baltimore, check out my episode directory.

Available Artwork by KESHA BRUCE.

KESHA BRUCE | Take Me to the Water in See Great Art

20 Sep

ART IN THE NORTHEAST

Kesha Bruce paintings at Morton Fine Art in Washington, D.C.

BY CHADD SCOTT POSTED ON 0 COMMENTS

Kesha Bruce, Kesha Bruce Waves Singing for the Moon, 2022 40 x 30 in. Mixed-media Textile Collage on canvas Courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist.
Kesha Bruce, Kesha Bruce Waves Singing for the Moon, 2022 40 x 30 in. Mixed-media Textile Collage on canvas Courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist.

Morton Fine Art presents “Take Me to the Water,” a solo exhibition of mixed-media paintings by Kesha Bruce. An intuitive combination of painting, collage and textile art, Kesha Bruce paintings represent 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, D.C. space (52 O St NW #302).

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. Kesha 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.

https://e3343eeda4fdbe43f0a924ca968222bf.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

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, Kesha 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.

https://e3343eeda4fdbe43f0a924ca968222bf.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

About the Artist

Kesha Bruce (b. 1975, Iowa). Born and raised in Iowa, Bruce completed a BFA from the University of Iowa before earning an MFA in painting from Hunter College in New York City. 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.

Kesha Bruce is also co-founder of Black Girl Basel – the only event during Miami Art Week intentionally created for Black women artists, creatives, entrepreneurs, activists and cultural change-makers.

Kesha Bruce, Memory of Matala, 2022 60 x 48 in. Mixed-media Textile Collage on canvas Courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist.
Kesha Bruce, Memory of Matala, 2022 60 x 48 in. Mixed-media Textile Collage on canvas Courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist.

https://e3343eeda4fdbe43f0a924ca968222bf.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Morton Fine Art

Founded in 2010 in Washington D.C. 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.

Available Artwork by KESHA BRUCE.

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

Introducing Japanese Artist HIROMITSU KUROO | Morton Fine Art

19 Jul

HIROMITSU KUROO

(Japan & New York, b. Japan)

Hiromitsu Kuroo is a 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.

Rejecting the rigid and competitive world of my youth, I embraced the artistic world, where creativity, individuality and self-expression are held in high esteem. Being a Japanese expatriate in New York, I dually struggle with my cultural identity and my current New York existence. Through my work, I attempt to bridge these two quite different worlds.

My childhood in Kaminagaya exposed me to the scarf dyeing factories on the Ooka River, and the beauty and joy of color–you can find clear nods to my youth in the repeating patterns within my works. The recurrent shapes and colors in my works are sourced from everyday life–natural landscapes, the scenery of the city, conversation with strangers, good books and music all help me materialize my pieces.

I’ve recently begun working on a new series called “Bleach Painting”–the concept is that the works can easily be made anywhere. I make the works primarily with bleach, using as little paint as possible. The ability to create beauty out of limited expression is a characteristic of Japanese culture expressed through many artforms, and as a painter working in the manner of the Origami tradition of paper folding, I wanted to carry that feature into my practice. The canvas serves like paper where the gentle manipulation of its surface conveys intricate textural landscapes. I was inspired to work simply, with bleach, during my travels to Utah and Colorado, where I encountered incredible Native American murals. I enjoy approaching my practice originally, and conceiving of different ways of producing art. – HIROMITSU KUROO, 2022

Hiromitsu 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

Art on Paper NYC | Morton Fine Art | VICTOR EKPUK

30 Jun

LOCATION

Pier 36, Downtown Manhattan
299 South Street
New York, 10002

HOURS

Select VIP Preview
Thursday, September 8, 2022 — 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Exclusive Entry for Select VIPs

Opening Evening
Thursday, September 8, 2022 — 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Exclusive Entry for Fair Pass Holders & Select VIPs

Public Hours
Friday, September 9, 2022 — 11:00am to 7:00pm
Saturday, September 10, 2022 — 11:00am to 7:00pm
Sunday, September 11, 2022 — 11:00pm to 6:00pm 

Morton Fine Art will be presenting the work of VICTOR EKPUK.

Victor Ekpuk is a Nigerian-American artist based in Washington D.C. He is internationally for his paintings, drawings, and sculptures, which reimagine the ancient Nigerian communication system, Nsibidi, to create his own unique language of abstraction. Ekpuk’s work engages with a diverse spectrum of meaning, often mining historical narratives, the contemporary African diaspora, and humanity’s connection to the sacred.

Ekpuk’s three decade long career has resulted in prestigious national and international exhibitions, including, Dakar Biennial, Senegal; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; Museum of Arts and Design, NYC; Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C.; Somerset House, London; New Museum of Contemporary Art, NYC; and the 12th Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba.

Ekpuk’s work is included in numerous collections including the Bank ABC International Headquarters in the Kingdom of Bahrain; Elizabeth Miller Sculpture Center; Hood Museum; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art; Krannert Art Museum; Newark Museum; Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture; The World Bank; United States Art in Embassies Art Collection; Microsoft Art Collection and Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.

In recent years, Ekpuk has focused on large-scale murals, installations, and public art projects. In 2017, he completed a 30 x 18 foot centerpiece mural for the North Carolina Museum of Art. Memphis Brooks Museum then commissioned Ekpuk to create a 58 foot mural titled Essence of Memphis. In 2019, he completed a 20 foot metal sculpture Hope and Dream Under Glory commissioned by the Washington D.C. city government and housed at Boone Elementary School in Southeast Washington, D.C. Also in 2019, he installed The Face, a 17 foot landmark sculpture commissioned by Bank ABC (Arab Bank Corporation) at its world headquarters in The Kingdom of Bahrain.

Ekpuk is a Smithsonian Fellow and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Obafemi Awolowo University. He has been commissioned by The Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African Art to design trophies awarded to recipients of the museum’s first African Art Awards, as well as by Random House Publishers to illustrate new covers for Chinua Achebe, Africa’s most celebrated author.

Mr. Ekpuk has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2012.

Available Artwork by VICTOR EKPUK

ETO OTITIGBE | “Materiel Remains” reviewed in The Washington Post

25 Jun

Eto Otitigbe

Review by Mark Jenkins

June 24, 2022 at 6:00 a.m. EDT

“Dr. Nova,” by Eto Otitigbe, in the exhibit “Materiel Remains: Consider This a Blueprint, a Series of Blueprints.” (Eto Otitigbe)

At first glance, the Eto Otitigbe paintings at Morton Fine Art don’t seem to have much connection with his best known ventures, which are public sculptures. But the swirling, inky facades of the artist’s “Materiel Remains: Consider This a Blueprint, a Series of Blueprints” are inscribed with intricate designs that have an architectural quality. These half-hidden forms do suggest blueprints, albeit for purely theoretical structures.

Otitigbe, who teaches sculpture at Brooklyn College, generally paints on valchromat, a variety of colored plywood introduced about 25 years ago. The artist buries the substance’s bright hues under mostly black paint, which contrasts the lines engraved by a computer-controlled process. The cleanly cut patterns are as precise as the applied pigment is loose and smeary.

The artist is a member of the design team for the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia, and his paintings do allude indirectly to hidden African American history. But they can also be seen as embodying the hidden structures that underlie a seemingly disordered universe. Trained as an engineer at MIT and Stanford, Otitigbe imposes structure even as he indulges painterly intuition.

Eto Otitigbe: Materiel Remains: Consider This a Blueprint, a Series of Blueprints Through June 28 at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St. NW, No. 302. Open by appointment.

di Rosa Museum of Contemporary Art | ADIA MILLETT | A Force of Nature

16 Jun

JULY 23 – OCTOBER 30, 2022

adia millett: a force of nature | opening july 23

“the land at di rosa… changing like the direction of the seasonal smoke, reveals to us that with death comes new life.” -adia millett

Adia Millett: A Force of Nature presents new paintings, textiles and sculptural installations by the Oakland-based artist, created in response to di Rosa’s distinctive landscape. “The land at di Rosa,” Millett writes, “lush with soaring vultures, cracks in the decomposing earth, traces of snakeskin, and endless layers of shadows, arouse our creative minds to remember where we come from. The multitude of colors, changing like the direction of the seasonal smoke, reveals to us that with death comes new life.”

Ranging across diverse media, Millett’s practice is rooted in “taking things apart, removing, replacing, cutting, pasting, sewing and building.” Evoking “the mended shapes of an old quilt, or polygonal segments of a cathedral window,” the works suggest “the importance of renewal and rebuilding, not only through the artistic process, but also through the possibility of transformative change.” Human beings, like earthquakes, forest fires or floods, are also forces of nature.

Millett earned her BFA from UC Berkeley followed by an MFA from CalArts. Her work has been exhibited at institutions including the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Craft and Folk Museum in Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta; the Santa Monica Museum of Art; and the Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans.

related programs

July 23: opening reception

October 29: Artist talk

triangle
Adia Millett, Snake in the Fire, 2022.
“The countless creatures I witnessed living on the land, including a baby rattler, became mirrors. We are able to see ourselves in other living beings. As they navigate the land, so do we. I imagine the young snake using its senses to transition from the challenges of one season to another. Here the triangle-shaped painting, not only integrated the shades of red to symbolize fire, but blue, green, yellow, and gold, for the water, air, and earth. Like the snake, we move, shed, and thrive.”
a blue and white dress on a wood floor
Quilted Ancestor: Earth (unfinished)
The three Quilted Ancestors titled Sun, Moon, and Earth were created to bring the fabric to life. As a viewer, we can begin to imagine a ghost, spirit, or loved one beneath the shrouds. In turn, the titles suggest that we can then image our planet or the moon as an entity, or family member. The quilts are covered with pieces of fabric that reveal the layers and complexity of who we are.
a pair of blue and white underwear
The Collective ( 1 of 10)
The Collective is a series of ten abstract forms, slightly resembling the shape of a figure or mummy. These forms are designed to float amongst the wall, each one unique and still connected to the others. Millett does not see these as body forms, but rather an energetic trace within the body. Like all the work in this exhibition, they are emblematic of transition, elevation, and the many dimensions of who we are.
a colorful rug with a design
Grandmother is perhaps the most personal piece in this exhibition. It starts with a piece of an unfinished quilt top from Millett’s grandmother. Adia adds hand-stitching in and around it and moves outward creating a mandala of feathers, most of which were collected from the land at Di Rosa. Earth tones surround what Adia calls a “medicine wheel”. Being the great-grandchild of Indigenous and African American slave foremothers, Adia uses her art to pay homage to the woman who came before her. The vast elements of the earthwork as a connection point to her matriarchal lineage.

di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art 5200 Sonoma Hwy, Napa, CA 94559 | 707-226-5991 | Hours | Contact

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Available Artwork by ADIA MILLETT