Tag Archives: morton fine art

Video: VICTOR EKPUK Installation of Mural at North Carolina Museum of Art!

20 Jun

Washington DC based Nigerian artist VICTOR EKPUK recently completed a mural,  Divinity, for the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC. It was part of their newly opened African art galleries. You can see a time-lapse of him creating the mural above.

To see more available works by VICTOR EKPUK, please visit his page on our website HERE or contact the gallery.

Below, you can find an article written about his installation in the Indy Week:

Victor Ekpuk’s Divine Mural at the North Carolina Museum of Art Heralds New Life for Its African Galleries

Victor Ekpuk's new mural at NCMA was commissioned to augment the museum's expanded African art gallery.

Photo by Ben McKeown

Victor Ekpuk’s new mural at NCMA was commissioned to augment the museum’s expanded African art gallery.

Ekpuk’s work covers a thirty-by-eighteen-foot wall in one of NCMA’s new African art galleries, which have been expanded in the museum’s East Building to include works from across the continent spanning sixteen centuries. Opening to the public by the end of June, the galleries will almost double the number of African works on display, including never-before-seen textiles and works on paper in light-controlled areas.

El Anatsui‘s “Lines that Link Humanity,” a quilt-like sculpture of aluminum and copper wire, hangs on a wall adjacent to Ekpuk’s work. Valises opposite the mural contain objects including a Yoruba divination board and ornately carved totems. Approaching this commission with no preconceived composition, Ekpuk sat in the space for a day considering the neighboring works before he pulled out his iPad to begin sketching.

“It’s more about the aura of the objects that were pulling me as I got closer to some of them,” Ekpuk says. “Some of them I’m familiar with. Some of them not so much. The power and aura of the objects themselves created an atmosphere where I felt a sense of divinity.”

Rendered in white chalk on a black wall, Ekpuk’s composition forms an abstracted figure wrapping long arms around the perimeter. Hundreds of signs and symbols are densely packed within the arms, which are themselves filled with little circles. The large figure has a placid, stylized face at the top, and its distended arms terminate in huge hands that gather the chaos of the symbols together.

The mural has a presence and an intricate density comparable to that of Anatsui’s sculpture. Ekpuk counts Anatsui as an elder, and they’ve shown together in a 1994 group exhibit in Lagos. Ekpuk was one of five up-and-coming Nigerian artists paired with a trio of established African artists.

The Yoruba divination board, however, inspired the mural’s form. Ekpuk talks about how a diviner shakes objects in the tray-like board in order to answer questions or make predictions by interpreting their proximities. Instead of objects, Ekpuk fills his mural with symbols that draw upon nsibidi, a Nigerian system of ideograms. But the symbols are so crowded and intertwined that any attempted reading will be foiled. It’s hard to focus on one sign to see what it might refer to or depict. Instead, one’s vision darts around and takes in the overall density.

“I know it teases your brain to think that you could read it,” Ekpuk laughs, “but it’s not writing that tells you A or B or C. I never try to analyze them or say that they are any one particular thing. I open it up so that people can just see what they see in it.” Echoing this semiotic openness, Ekpuk deflects talk of any overt political message in the work. But neither is it apolitical.

“I walked into the space and, initially, I thought, Let’s not just do another social-political thing. At the same time, I’ve found that art is always politics. Sometimes I don’t think about politics, but once I start making art, this feeling starts coming out in the work. After I made this, I thought, Oh, I’m actually responding to this siege that I feel right now in the political climate in America.'”

Ekpuk describes the composition as a divine embrace, but the arms could be read as a crowded space of containment, like a refugee camp or border wall. The empty zeros might exude the banal homogeneity of power.

Ekpuk won’t say it’s a wrong reading, just that he sees something different. He’s inclined to cede the artist’s intention by making a willfully undetermined work. He’s leaning toward leaving the mural untitled so that a visitor can react to what it is rather than what it means. [Editor’s note: Ekpuk ultimately decided to title the work “Divinity.”]

“It forces you to abandon what you know and have an opportunity to be aware of something else,” he says. “Not everything has to be explained. If you want to bring what you know, then you’re just going to hit the wall. Perhaps it’s sort of a comfort work, rather than an angry work. It’s a reminder that, whether we believe in it or not, there is a divine source of our strength. It’s beyond us.”

This article appeared in print with the headline “Symbol Crash”

AMBER ROBLES GORDON and NATE LEWIS at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design

8 Jun

The Mosaic Project: Amber Robles Gordon and Nathaniel Lewis

The 9th annual Mosaic Project:

Amber Robles Gordon and Nathaniel Lewis

Oct 2ndDec 8th

First Friday receptions October 6, Nov 3 and Dec 1

Amber Robles Gordon

“My artwork is a visual representation of my hybridism: a fusion of my gender, ethnicity, cultural, and social experiences. I impose colors, imagery, and materials that evoke femininity and tranquility with the intent of transcending or balancing a specific form. I associate working with light, color, and energy as a positive means to focus on the healing power found in the creative process and within us all. It is my belief that colors have both feminine and masculine energies and each color represents a specific aspect of nature.”

Amber Robles-Gordon, is a mixed media visual artist.  She primarily works and is known for her use of found objects and textile to create assemblages, large-scale sculptures and installations.  Her work is representational of her experiences and the paradoxes within the female experience.

Robles-Gordon has over fifteen years of exhibiting, art education, and exhibition coordinating experience.  She completed her Masters of Fine Arts from Howard University in November 2011, where she has received annual awards and accolades for her artwork. Since, her exhibitions and artwork has been reviewed and/or featured in the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Washington Informer, Examiner, WAMU American University Radio, WPFW 89.3, MSNBC the grio, Hyperallergeric, Ebony.com, the Miami Herald, Huffington Post, Bmore Art Magazine, and Callaloo Art & Culture in the African Diaspora.

She has exhibited nationally and in Germany, Italy, Malaysia, London, and Spain. In 2010, Robles-Gordon was granted apprenticeship to create a public art installation with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, D.C. Creates Public Arts Program. Robles-Gordon was also commissioned to create temporary and permanent public art installations for numerous art fairs and agencies such as the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, DCCAH, Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association (NVFAA), Humanities Council of Washington, D.C., Howard University, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Washington Projects for the Arts.

Throughout her career, she serves as an advocate for the Washington, DC area arts community. As of November 2004 through July 2012, Robles-Gordon has been an active member of the Black Artists DC, (BADC) serving as exhibitions coordinator, Vice President and President. Robles-Gordon is also the Co-Founder of Delusions of Grandeur Artist Collective. In 2012, Robles-Gordon was selected to present for the Under the Influence competition as part of the 30 Americans Exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Additionally, she has been commissioned by the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum, Luther College, WETA Television, Al Jazeera, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, Howard University, David C. Driskell Center, the Phillips Collection, the African American Museum in Philadelphia  and Mc Daniel College  to teach workshops, give commentary, and or present about her artwork. Most recently, Robles-Gordon has been selected for the Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano, Back the Roots, Teaching Residency in Limon, Costa Rica.

 

Nate Lewis

“As a critical care registered nurse I desired to become emotionally porous. I sought for the impersonal experiences of patients and families to become personal and intimate. This resulted in distilling untested qualities of my character and further illuminating areas of my identity. I aim for this work to show the power of freedom within boundaries, and to question to what lengths are we willing to lay aside our pride, comfort, and fear to make room for empathy, within intimate and larger social contexts.”

Born and raised outside of Pittsburgh in the town of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, Nate Lewis is currently living and working in Washington, DC.

Lewis began his working career as a critical care registered nurse, he received a BS in nursing in 2008 and has since worked in a medical-surgical intensive care unit, a stroke unit, and spent most of his time in a neuroscience-surgical intensive care unit. He has been working as a critical care registered nurse for six years. He began pursuing the arts in 2008, first it was music, violin. He then started pursuing the visual arts in 2010. A self-taught artist, drawing inspiration from anatomy, physiology, disease processes and his nursing experience as a care taker of patients and their family members he creates stunning, intricate 2-3d sculptures out of  single sheets of paper that visually combines the aesthetics of drawing, sculpture, etching,  embroidery, and textiles. His approach to his work is often instinctive and free while at the same time surgically precise. Lewis’s work pushes the idea of freedom within boundaries, and seeks to confront perceptions of vulnerability, tragedy, and time.

He has exhibited his work more than 30 times in the past 5 years, most recently at the  Morton Fine Art, Washington DC, Loyola University, Baltimore, MD, 2016 Biological Tapestries 1st Movement, Morton Fine Art, Washington DC,  Art on the Vine, Marthas Vineyard, MA,  GalleryNine5, New York, NY, Joan Hisoka Gallery, Washington, DC, Cordesa Fine Art, San Francisco, Ca, and Brilliant Champions Gallery, Brooklyn NY. His work has been covered in the Houston Chronicle , Strictly Paper   and Scrub Magazine.  He has been a recipient three times of the DC Commission of the Arts & Humanities Visual Artist Fellowship Grant, Artist in Residence by Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY, and Regional Winner of Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series, Washington DC.

The Mosaic Project: The significance of art in the lives of our youth cannot be underestimated. Yet, just when research is finally emerging that supports this, budget cuts and curricular demands are threatening the foundation of creativity in our public schools. In order to fill that gap as well as enrich the community, Pennsylvania College of Art & Design developed The Mosaic Project, a multicultural exhibition and education program for students and families in Lancaster County.

 

– See more at: http://pcad.edu/gallery-exhibit/the-mosaic-project-amber-robles-gordon-and-nathaniel-lewis/#sthash.Yzma5SLf.dpuf

Click HERE to view available artwork by AMBER ROBLES GORDON and NATE LEWIS.

ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY’s solo “The Planet is a Delicate Thing” opens at MFA Fri 6/16

7 Jun
The Planet is a Delicate Thing
Experimental Printmaking by ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY

Friday, June 16th – July 5th, 2017

 

OPENING DAY RECEPTION
Friday June 16th, 6pm-8pm
The artist will be in attendance.

ARTIST TALK
Saturday, June 24th, 2pm

 


ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY, Fish, 2017, 72″x60″, wood engraving & painting on canvas
EXHIBITION LOCATION
Morton Fine Art (MFA)
1781 Florida Ave NW (at 18th & U Sts)
Washington, DC 20009
HOURS

Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm
Sunday 12pm-5pm

ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY, Ginkgo, 2017, 48″x72″,
wood engraving & painting on canvas



About The Planet is a Delicate Thing
In The Planet is a Delicate Thing, internationally renowned artist ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY explores the balance between climate, the environment, and human life through large-scale mixed media works. Covey, who uses natural landscape and seascape as inspiration for her work, reminds us how delicate and nuanced life can be. The Planet is a Delicate Thing celebrates COVEY, experimental printmaker and artist, who is widely collected internationally and in the DC metropolitan area and has artwork in numerous permanent museum collections around the globe.


About ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY

ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. In a career spanning four decades she has exhibited internationally and received countless awards. Ms. COVEY is the recipient of both a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship and Alpha Delta Kappa Foundation National Fine Art Award. Her work is featured in numerous major museum and library collections, including the former Corcoran Gallery of Art, the New York Public Library Print Collection, the National Museum of American History, Yale University, Johns Hopkins Evergreen Museum, Harvard University, Tweed Museum, and the Papyrus Institute in Cairo, Egypt.

In 2012, five hundred of her prints were acquired for the permanent collection of Georgetown University Library, Special Collections. ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY is represented by Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC. The Planet is a Beautiful Thing is Ms. COVEY’s fifth solo exhibition at MFA.

About Morton Fine Art

Founded in 2010 in Washington, DC, 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 African American and African art. 
 

 
Contact Information
(202) 628-2787
mortonfineart@gmail.com
www.mortonfineart.com

CHARLES WILLIAMS at the Gibbes Museum

3 Jun

 

Gibbes visiting artist Charles Williams wants you to touch his paintings — and draw on them

Reestablishing the narrative

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Wed, May 31, 2017

The Day After

“This feels like a family reunion,” says Charles Williams, standing, grinning, a little out of breath, surveying tables covered in crayons and blank watercolor papers; sheets of brown and white paper are hung around the room, waiting for Williams’ deft hand. This studio on the Gibbes ground floor will be Williams’ home, or at least artistic hub, for the next two weeks. He’s rushing to get everything set up — there’s a fellows luncheon in a few hours and executive director Angela Mack swings by to let him know some members may be stopping in. Williams is more than accommodating; he’s a nice guy, but he’s also confident in his work. He isn’t afraid of a few premature visitors.
“As a child I remember coming to the Gibbes, and now I’m here during Spoleto, it’s huge.” A Georgetown, S.C. native and Savannah College of Art and Design alum, Williams is a man of the Lowcountry through and through, and community is important to him, especially in Charleston. “I feel like Charleston was a city that really stood out with all that’s been happening [with race relations in the country] … it just really showed the essence of what the Lowcountry embodies. Charleston really set the bar [of how a city should respond] and I thought ‘How can I capitalize on this?'”

Hot off of “two years of intensity” at UNC Greensboro — Wiliams just graduated this spring with a Masters in Fine Art — the artist is ready to let loose, to break down barriers and knock out walls. “The power of museums and art galleries is they’re community centers. They serve multiple purposes. But when you go to these institutions, they say you can’t touch. And I understand why … but you go to these places repeatedly and they keep saying ‘you can’t do this.’ The rebellion and curiosity in me says ‘Well, what if I did touch, what if I did make a mark?'”
In his new series premiering at the Gibbes, Child’s Play: Everyone Loves the Sunshine, Williams uses old black-and-white photographs from the 1920s through 1960s that show people from different backgrounds coming together, uniting behind a common cause. Williams was inspired to seek out this theme after the multiple police brutality incidents of 2016, “There was one incident that really compelled me … that led me to create this work. What I wanted to say with this work is look at how little we’ve changed. History is like looking at our own reflection. I think when you know where you’ve been and where you’ve come from you can reposition yourself to move forward.”

And I Still Love

And, there’s no point in moving forward if we don’t move forward together. Which is where we, the public, come in. “So basically I’ve created this adult coloring book,” says Williams, directing my attention to a sheet of paper with two intricately drawn figures, two little boys, hands intertwined as one helps the other with what appears to be a hurt finger. The image is taken from one of Williams’ historic photographs, the boys fading away at the edges, surrounded by scratches of “school bus” yellow, smudges of gray, circles of red. “People can come and add color to this, draw over the figures, whatever they want.” My heart drops — let some random stranger potentially ruin this beautiful, carefully crafted work with an errant mark?
Yes. But it will not be a ruining, it will be a rendering, one that Williams will continue to work with. “Viewers can come in and paint, and recreate works with me. If they want to paint over arms or legs, that’s OK. My goal is to break down the barriers.”
Williams puts me to work, having me rip (carefully!) watercolor papers into 10×10 scratch pads that visitors will be able to color on. I’m not someone who can “eyeball” something, and I tell Williams this. But he trusts me. Trust has to be an integral part of his process — it’s trust that unites, says Williams. “When Charleston came together there was a trust that was there, that connected everyone to stand strong, to not destroy the city. Within that trust, I thought ‘What does that symbol look like?’ And that symbol looks like the handshake. Growing up, my grandfather couldn’t read or write so he told me that you have to have a firm handshake. He had five kids, and needed to provide for his family. He said ‘You look a man or woman in their eyes, shake their hand firmly, and do what you say you’re going to do.’ That establishes trust. So I was thinking, how can we in the community reestablish that?”
Williams, by highlighting images with hands that depict “strength, power, control, vulnerability, help, forgiveness,” is creating a space of trust, a space sans barriers. He doesn’t copy the images — that would miss the point entirely. He uses them as a base, a foundation that he builds on to evolve the photograph in his “own language” with intuitive mark makings and strokes. “There’s me reestablishing the narrative.”
By adding color — particularly the school bus yellow that is included in every piece in the series — Williams is making the pieces his own, and mine, and yours. Williams, ever the student, says that “all the colors are specific from my studies of the psychology of color and how they affect humans. School bus yellow in Child’s Play is observant, happy, expressive, curious … For me, I’m curious to see what viewers and participants make and do with the crayons and markers. And I can weave in and out with the marks they put. Painting has a long lineage of documenting the now. I’m pushing the envelope of how I can open the dialogue further.” And if you come into the Gibbes on a day when you’re feeling glum, or out of sorts, you don’t have to draw bright yellow sunshines on Williams’ large-scale adult coloring book. “Whatever color you’re feeling, put down that. If you’re feeling blue, use blue. That’s the beauty of it, no barriers.”

Click HERE to view available artwork by CHARLES WILLIAMS.

 

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

27 May

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

By Mark Jenkins May 25, 2017

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

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

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

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

VICTOR EKPUK’s solo exhibition “These Memories” at Morton Fine Art

25 May

These Moments : A solo exhibition of mixed media artwork by VICTOR EKPUK

Friday, May 12th – May 31st, 2017

 

EXHIBITION LOCATION

Morton Fine Art (MFA)

1781 Florida Ave NW (at 18th & U Sts)

Washington, DC 20009

HOURS

Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm

Sunday 12pm-5pm

VICTOR EKPUK, Portrait Series #8, 2015, 48″x48″, acrylic on canvas

    VICTOR EKPUK, Head 4, 2015, 45″x48″, acyrlic on panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About VICTOR EKPUK & These Moments 

What can one say about an artist like Victor Ekpuk? Graphically stunning, with a carefully crafted use of color, and evincing a commitment to the power of the line, Ekpuk’s work in These Moments applies Ekpuk’s enviable skill, theoretical grounding, and consistent engagement with what it means to be human in a more figurative approach. These Moments highlight thirteen works all grounded by the form, structure, and strength of the bold line’s arc through space. Inspired in part by a four-month residency in Nigeria, the country of his birth, Ekpuk was struck by how central the head was in daily life in Lagos. Ekpuk explains that he was “struck by people carrying things on their heads, metaphorically or otherwise.”Izetta Autumn Mobley, 2017

These Moments marks VICTOR EKPUK’s third solo exhibition at Morton Fine Art.  His artwork is included in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution Nation Museum of African Art, Brooks Museum, Krannert Art Museum, US Department of State, Newark Museum, Arkansas Art Center, Fidelity Investments,  The World Bank, and University of Maryland University College Art Collection.

 

Click HERE to view available artwork by VICTOR EKPUK.

 

VICTOR EKPUK, At the Water’s Edge, 25″x19″, ink, graphite and pastel on paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VICTOR EKPUK “Drawing Memory : Essence of Memphis” at Brooks Museum

18 May

Drawing Memory: Essence of Memphis

Currently On View

Exhibition Overview

Victor Ekpuk, a Nigerian American artist, painted a mural for a new gallery, Arts of Global Africa, in March 2017. His art is inspired by nsibidi, a sacred means of communication among male secret societies in southeastern Nigeria. Evolving out of the graphic and writing systems of nsibidi, Ekpuk’s art embraces a wider spectrum of meaning to communicate universal themes.

“The subject matter of my work deals with the human condition explained through themes that are both universal and specific: family, gender, politics, culture and identity,” said Ekpuk.

The 58-foot mural is the beginning of the renovation of Arts of Global Africa, which will culminate in fall 2017.

“We are thrilled to be reinstalling the African Gallery with Drawing Memory as the centerpiece. Victor has been an artist in residence at museums across the country and visitors have been inspired and deeply moved by watching him work,” said Chief Curator Marina Pacini.

Ekpuk’s artworks are in such collections as the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African Art, Newark Museum, The World Bank, Hood Museum, Krannert Art Museum, United States Art in Embassies Art Collection and Fidelity Investment Art Collection.

 


Sponsors

Jimmy Humphreys
Brooks Museum League