Tag Archives: morton fine art

Morton Fine Art highlighted in Delta Sky Magazine

10 Sep

Morton Fine Art highlighted in September 2018 Delta Sky Magazine! “Historic Adams Morgan – one of the city’s quirkiest neighborhoods – is filled with new energy.” Visit Morton Fine Art’s website or our gallery on Artsy to view our full available inventory of artworks by substantive and top tier, national and international contemporary artists!

 

 

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Morton Fine Art congratulates artist OSI AUDU as recipient of a prestigious and highly competitive grant from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation

28 Aug

For over a decade now, through highly acclaimed exhibitions of his work, OSI AUDU has maintained a strong professional presence in the United States, Great Britain, Korea, Japan, Italy, Germany, Austria and Africa.
His work has been exhibited at, and collected by public institutions including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, The Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey, USA, The British Museum and the Horniman Museum both in London, and the Wellcome Trust Gallery in Euston London. His work has also been exhibited at the Tobu Museum and Setagaya Museum both in Japan, the Liverpool Museum in Great Britain, The Science Museum London; and acquired for corporate collections including Sony Classical New York, and the Schmidt Bank in Germany.
He received a B.A. (Fine Art) degree with First Class Honors from the University of Ife in Nigeria, and an M.F.A. degree in Painting and Drawing from the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA.
He now lives and works in New York.
The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc. was established in 1985 for the sole purpose of providing financial assistance to individual working visual artists of established ability through the generosity of the late Lee Krasner, one of the leading abstract expressionist painters and the widow of Jackson Pollock.
The Foundation is pleased to report that since its inception in 1985, it has awarded over 4,400 grants totaling over 71 million dollars to artists in 77 countries.

VICTOR EKPUK book signing event Saturday, Sept 1, 2018 from 2-4pm at Morton Fine Art

26 Aug
Please join us for VICTOR EKPUK’s book signing party this Saturday, September 1st from 2pm-4pm. We will be celebrating the near 500 page, mid career retrospective titled “Victor Ekpuk : Connecting Lines Across Space and Time”, Edited by Toyin Falola. This incredible book includes fascinating writings by 13 scholars and countless images of Victor’s brilliant creations.

 

 

Smithsonian Mag features MAYA FREELON’s “Reciprocity Respite & Repass” at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building during Halcyon’s “By the People” Festival

22 Jun

 

Maya Freelon’s Immersive and Interactive Sculptures Bring Tissue Paper to Life

Her artwork will be a part of this weekend’s By the People Festival at the Arts and Industries building

 

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Maya Freelon’s Reciprocity Respite & Repass at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building (Courtesy of Halcyon)
smithsonian.com
June 21, 2018

For more than a decade, artist Maya Freelon has created striking abstract sculptures and installations from tissue paper and water stains. Her technique — letting water gently drip so the paper’s color bleeds organically — arose from happenstance, when, as an MFA student, she discovered a stack of old tissue paper in her grandmother’s basement.

Freelon’s assemblages reside in collections around the world, from U.S. Embassies in Madagascar, Swaziland, and Rome, to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. This month, she’s installed a monumental, interactive tissue paper sculpture for the first annual By The People International Festival at the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building. Named “Reciprocity Respite & Repass,” her artwork is one of a selection of immersive and interactive art installations at the AIB, the headquarters for the festival. By the People will also feature a series of workshops and talks with experts.

As for Freelon, however, there is perhaps no better introduction to her than the late poet Maya Angelou, who described the tissue paper artwork as “visualizing the truth about the vulnerability and power of the human being.”

When did you discover your medium, working with tissue paper and water?

In 2006, I was in graduate school in Boston at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, now part of Tufts Museum School. At the time, I lived with my grandmother and it was a found artist’s dream treasure trove because she did not throw anything away. Queen Mother Frances J. Pierce said, “We grew up a family of sharecroppers that never got their fair share.” She would always speak in rhymes and her sayings come up often as titles in my work, such as Bloom Where You’re Planted. She was very proud of her African heritage and really embraced it before it was cool. She followed the original Black Panthers. And she had stuff everywhere— books, papers, magazines stacked to the ceiling. She just collected and collected. There were journals and Confederate money I found, just things that had not seen the light of day in 50 or 60 years. Eight track tapes. Hot combs (the original kind that you put in the oven stove). Thousands of keys and pens.

So one day, I went to the basement and discovered this tissue paper that was water damaged. It must have been a leaky pipe or something because it was right under the bathroom. There was a watermark from a constant drip, which had to be years ago, on this rainbow pack of colored tissue paper.

What was so powerful about the visual manifestation of this leak for you?

The watermark is a familiar sign to most people in the entire world. It just means: water was once here. You can see that in a lake that has receded. You can see it in the desert. You can see it in a rainforest, creek bed, even the Grand Canyon. It’s a marker of time or evaporation — a familiar sign to all human beings. I felt the commonality and a kind of interconnectedness of our humanity. This beautiful little accident sparked a world of discovery for me.

And three weeks after I found the stained tissue paper, Hurricane Katrina wiped out the Gulf Coast. So, I’m finding a parallel between water moving color literally and water as destruction. Seeing the images in the media and simultaneously watching water push ink out of tissue paper, I was struck by how a constant drip of water can dilute pure color— and I reflected on the fragility of life. I also questioned the hierarchy of art materials. My grandmother used tissue paper in elementary school art classrooms, and there I was, discovering and using tissue paper for my graduate art class.

Did the fragility of tissue paper require copious trial and error?

When I first used the tissue paper I didn’t know what do with it. I tried to mimic the water mark and couldn’t. I was pouring carefully, using a watercolor brush, trying to get it right. But it didn’t work. It just looked like a mess. So then I got a water balloon, and put a pin in it, and let it slowly drop on the tissue paper, simulating a drip that might come from a leaky faucet. That’s when I realized, oh my gosh: it’s not a steady stream. It’s a drip process that pushes the ink to the outer edges. At that moment, I also thought about middle school. I always knew I was going to be an artist, and I remember looking up at the dropped ceiling and often there’s a brown water stain on the tile. In my boredom as a child, I remember thinking, what’s happening up there?

I think about how brown paper in front of buildings that are getting renovated gets wet and leaves a stain. You see it also in dried up puddles. It’s just so beautiful to me. It reminds me of the macro and the microscopic.

But aren’t there unique conservation challenges with such delicate material?

When I started, I was feeling a little self-conscious about tissue paper. It’s fun to experiment in art school, but the point is you want to know how to make a living as an artist. You want your art to sell, and the ephemeral nature is part of my work.

Creating an installation, a temporary sculpture, or even a performance is one thing. But a collector wants to know, how long is this going to last? Now I actually enjoy that part of my art, that feeling that makes folks a little wary and uncomfortable. Well, it is in a gallery so it must be worth something, right? But if tissue paper is on an elementary school floor of an art room, you just sweep it up and put it in the trash can. So my question as an artist is: What fuels our desire to preserve or protect something?

You know, we buy flowers— beautiful bouquets for hundreds of dollars sometimes. They die. They’re dead actually and we enjoy that. It’s something that we invest in. We spend hundreds of dollars on a delicious night out of food. What we appreciate and why we appreciate something is interesting to me.

What work are you presenting at the By The People Festival ?

The great thing about festival is that they specifically sought artists that have interactive components to their art. And what’s great about tissue paper is I can work with anyone from under 1 year old to over 100 years old. I use the most simple materials so anybody can interact and join in. I’ve done collaborative tissue quilt-making a few times, once at the North Carolina Museum of Art. You sit down next to somebody and you start looking at bits of torn tissue paper, which is interesting because of all the colorful stains. You pick your favorite color and you start connecting the papers with just a simple glue stick— Elmer’s. My materials are not a surprise or a secret. You’re sitting; you’re building, piece by piece. And as you get bigger, you bump into your neighbor on the right, your neighbor on the left, your neighbor at the table in front of you. You are joining and talking because the action is pretty simple, like a quilting bee.

Your mind kind of shuts off and it’s almost like a form of mediation. Some people are very quiet and work very meticulously. Some people are sloppier and just talking. But once you get in the groove of things, you have permission for your mind to take off a while, doing this task that is repetitive. But it’s also about that unity, that togetherness, that strength and power of joining together as opposed to being one piece flying off by itself.

How do you feel about being labeled a female or African-American artist (or both), rather than simply “an artist” as say, Picasso or Warhol is?

First of all, I am like Picasso and Warhol. I have vision and a dream and an overwhelming desire to create. I love that question, mainly because my favorite thing to say to picky young artists is: okay, you don’t want to identify as female? You don’t want identify as Black? Well, I’m going to apply to those grants, and I’ll take them. You don’t have to take them. Get in line for the generic ones. You don’t have to identify as anything. I know that there are historical inaccuracies and inadequacies. I know that it’s not fair and that other people are getting opportunities in this closed inner circle.

But these grants for artists that are underprivileged, or underserved, or minorities— whatever you want to call it— this is an attempt to level the playing field; to offer opportunities to see new perspectives; to honor different cultures; to embrace that otherness. It doesn’t matter if you don’t say a thing. You will still have some sort of identity, and for me, I embrace the myriad of my otherness. Recently, I began to identify as a queer artist as well.

One of my mentors is the contemporary painter Beverly McIver, who is a professor of art, art history and visual studies at Duke University. When I was 14, I used to sit in her studio and clean her paint brushes. She was the very first Black, female artist and professor that I met in person. I want to be that motivating source for someone else who has a dream and a passion.

What role should artists take in times of political and cultural division?

Artists are always at the forefront of revolution. They are the ones that push the buttons that make us stop and say, this isn’t right. They spark dialogue. We aren’t held back by, what will my town think? Am I going to get fired? Is this okay? Your job as an artist is to utilize your freedom to speak your mind and inspire. And at the same time, be ready for backlash, or the people that you are going to anger.

For me, my place of peace is always back in the commonality of us all. We can all agree that this is a watermark, right? I dislike you and you dislike me, can we find some common ground? Can we agree that this piece of art is beautiful?

Halcyon’s “By the People Festival” takes place June 21 – 24, 2018, at five official sites and numerous satellite locations throughout Washington, D.C. A list of more than 100 art installations, performances and talks, and to register for a free four-day pass, can be found here.

Click HERE to learn more about Halcyon’s “By the People Festival”.

Morton Fine Art and NATE LEWIS featured in Fairmont Magazine

21 Jun

 

Undiscovered D. C.

A collection of hidden gems in the US capital

 

Head Underground

Blink and you’ll miss some of the coolest art spaces in town. Leave the crowds at the new David Adjaye-designed National Museum of African American History and Culture and head to Morton Fine Art for under-the-radar African American artists like self-taught local, Nate Lewis. Or descend 20 feet to Dupont Circle station. Built in 1949, it was discontinued after streetcars went out of style, then reopened in 2016 as Dupont Underground. The 15,000 square-foot space is now a hub for alternative arts and culture and hosts talks by Pulitzer-prize-winning photojournalists and New York Times columnists. -EVE THOMAS

 

 

AMBER ROBLES-GORDON reviewed by Renee Royale for #supportblackart

20 May
A huge and enthusiastic Thank You to #supportblackart and writer Renee Royale for her thoughtful and valued review: AMBER ROBLES-GORDON: THE FINE ART OF INTROSPECTION AND EXTROSPECTION
 

AMBER ROBLES-GORDON: THE FINE ART OF INTROSPECTION AND EXTROSPECTION

Exhibited at not one but two DC galleries, Amber Robles-Gordon is a captivating artist whose intricate, analytical work lends thought to how we as humans perceive our world, and our place in it.

Her works at her solo show at Morton Fine Art gallery, “Third Eye Open”, on display until May 20th, are an insightful introspective to an “internal conversation about the interconnectedness of human life”, and involves sacred geometry, self exploration, transit timing variation, and the expanse of the universe.

Amber Robles-Gordon, Third Eye Open. 2018

Ink drawing and Collage.

Her work is multilayered; upon first glance there is an overall image presented of cellular circles that contain significant amounts of patterned dark matter, or space, and then heavily layered nuclei that are brightly colored with strategically placed materials giving balance to the form. Then, upon closer inspection, one discovers tiny details, be they altering textures or hand drawn ink strokes, all seamlessly weaving their individualities into the cohesiveness of the piece. Her art is steeped in duality and the connection to divine feminine, an examination of what femininity means and how it is viewed in relationship to the masculine. Her spirals are comprised of bits of lace, portion of a blouse, lanyard reminiscent of childhood art endeavors, and other found materials that represent the realm of womanhood. The pieces spiral, reminiscent of kundalini energy, further enhanced by the subtle abstract snakes that are strategically woven into the tapestries.

Amber Robles Gordon, Kepler 19-c, 2018
36×36 in., mixed media on canvas
Courtesy of the artist

It is representational of the connectivity of all things: how we all come from dark, feminine energy, our lives a long spiral of events as we complete rotations up our axis and revolve around each other. Some pieces are complements by smaller rotational pieces, mimicking a planet that has many moons. One piece in particular, Kepler 19-c, alluding to the extra solar planet that was discovered due to the variation of transition of a previous exo-planet, Kepler 19-b. Disrupted data led scientists to discover the planet Kepler 19-c, whose gravitational pull had just enough force on the other planet to cause the variation and thus revealing itself. Galaxies and new planets are being formed every day, in this cyclical thing called life that we are just tiny specks in. As the saying goes, one drop has many ripples, and Robles-Gordon’s work exemplifies this.

Amber Robles-Gordon, Kepler 19-b Super Earth, 2018
36 x 36 in., mixed media on canvas
Courtesy of the artist

One thing that was also noted at Morton Fine Art was the connectivity and understanding held by the founder and chief curator, Amy Morton. Her respect and understanding of the work, and the care she undertakes to accurately represent her artists, is something of note and puts MFA on a tier above many galleries existing today. It is highly suggested to stay connected to MFA via their website and mailing list. They represent an exemplary roster of artists, especially artists of color, that are on the rise and are creating phenomenal art.

 The artist and her work, Morton Fine Art Gallery. 2018

The artist and her work, Morton Fine Art Gallery. 2018

Robles-Gordon is also in a group show at Hemphill Fine Arts, titled “More or Less” that runs through June 9th. Her piece in that show, “International Realms”, explores her experiences as an Afrolatina navigating a patriarchal society. A paper collage on canvas, which is rectangular as opposed to her solo show’s circular works, from afar looks like a linear, abstract layering of a sunset and land. Up close, each layer has their own elements and color schemes that interact and coexist with each other. Filled with celestial bodies, textures of nature, flora, fauna, and of course, humans, the canvas contains reflective dualities hidden in the works that are only noticed upon intricate inspection. This creates an interesting balance that is interjected by long white bamboo-like stalks that span across the piece, giving the impression of one peeking into another world.

 Amber Robles-Gordon, Interdimensional Realms   Paper Collage on Canvas, 2017 

Amber Robles-Gordon, Interdimensional Realms

Paper Collage on Canvas, 2017

Amber Robles-Gordon is a DC native who is not just an artist but also an arts advocate and educator, creating and also giving back to her city. Check out more of her work at her website, amberroblesgordon.com.

Morton Fine Art is located at 1781 Florida Ave NW (at 18th & U Sts), Washington, DC 20009. “Third Eye Open” has been extended until May 20th. Hours are Tues-Sat: 11am – 6pm; Sun: 12pm – 5pm; Mon: by appointment.

Hemphill Fine Arts is located at 1515 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005. “More or Less” runs through June 9th. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10am-5pm, or by appointment.

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW AVAILABLE ARTWORK BY AMBER ROBLES-GORDON.

KESHA BRUCE’s “Sacred Liberation” at Waaw Residency, Saint-Louis, Senegal

18 May

Enjoy these photos of KESHA BRUCE’s opening reception for “Sacred Liberation” during her Waaw Residency in Senegal in May 2018. Among many new sources of inspiration, Kesha’s fascination with the baobab tree became magically obsessive. The artist describes:

The Baobab is the national tree of Senegal. I’d never heard of it until @kasiazudou sent me a picture of one that’s been carbon dated to be more than 6000 years old. I saw my first Baobab on my drive to Saint-Louis. They are absolutely eerie and otherworldly. I later found out they’re both feared and venerated for their magical abilities. I’ve been obsessed ever since.
Almost every tribe has a legend about the Baobab. In ancient times elders and community leaders would hold meetings under the baobabs so that the ancestors and spirits who live in the Baobab would guide them to make wise decisions.
And until recently, Griots, living historians who are keepers of historical records across generations, were buried inside Baobab trees.”