Tag Archives: solo exhibition

VONN SUMNER’s “Only Painted Fire” exhibition at Morton Fine Art

9 Nov

On view:

Morton Fine Art

52 O St #302

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787

http://www.mortonfineart.com

mortonfineart@gmail.com

 

Neo-Byzantine (Red Hot), 2019, 24″x20″, oil on panel

 

 

Betrayal Wall,  2019, 24″x24″, oil on panel

 

El Ingres-Frida (Appropriation of Culture), 2019, 24″x24″, oil on canvas

 

Balloon Dumpster (The Party’s Over), 2019, 16″x20″, oil on panel

About Only Painted Fire
In the summer of 2018, I travelled to Italy to see many of my favorite paintings in person for the first time: the early Renaissance frescoes of Giotto, Masaccio, and Piero della

Francesca. Though I was very familiar with the work through reproduction, seeing it with my own eyes was a transformative experience. When I returned home to California, I began a nearly life-size copy of one of my favorite panels of the Giotto frescoes at the Scrovegni chapel in Padua (alternately referred to as The Betrayal of Christ or Judas’ Kiss). I wanted to inhabit the painting, rather than just look at it; I wanted to feel what it was like to make those paintings.

 

During the process of copying this painting, I became intrigued with Giotto’s stylized depiction of fire, which blazed at the end of several torches along the top of the painting. I realized I had never really painted fire, and for some reason this became an

irresistible challenge. At the same time, I was following the news and trying

to make sense of the polarized and turbulent political climate of our time.

Perhaps due to my newfound fascination with painting fire, certain phrases that

commentators and pundits would use grabbed my attention: “dumpster-fire” and

“trash-fire” especially, used as hyperbolic expressions of frustration and

outrage. 

 

I began to think more deeply about the uses and depictions of fire, symbolically and literally, and the ways in which humans have used fire in rituals. Fire is dangerous and out of control, which also makes it beautiful and sexy and alive. Fire is violent and

destructive, which leads to change, regeneration and rebirth. We speak of

‘trial by fire’ and ‘lost torches’; passionate people can be ‘on fire’’ and

have ‘fire in their belly.’ In California we have “Fire Season” and “high fire

danger” alerts. There are “fire eaters” to entertain us, and parties that “burn

down the house” and light “the roof on fire,” etc… All of these phrases and

notions have been on my mind this past year as I have painted fire and searched

for personal and artistic renewal.

 

The resulting paintings are not meant as a definitive or conclusive statement, rather as evidence of one painter engaging with the world, following a gut instinct, and doing “research paintings” in order to see what happens. The work can be seen symbolically or

literally, or both; and I invite the viewer to bring their own interpretations

and resonances to the occasion. No matter how we look at our current cultural

moment, regardless of ideology or affiliation, it seems we are living through a

time of great change. These paintings are in some way a response to that

condition.

 

– VONN SUMNER, 2019

 

 

Dumpster Fire III,  2019, 16″x16″, oil on panel

 

Dumpster Fire IV, 2019, 18″x18″, oil on panel

 

Dumpster Fire II, 2019, 18″x14″, oil on canvas

 

KOR, 2019, 16″x12″, oil on canvas

 

About VONN CUMMINGS SUMNER

 

Vonn Cummings Sumner grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, the son of a picture framer and a school teacher. Seeing the art that his father was framing, as well as travel in Europe, Central America and India shaped Sumner’s visual aesthetic during his formative years.

 

He attended the University of California, at Davis, where he earned both a Bachelor’s degree and an M.F.A. in painting, with highest honors. While at Davis he worked closely with Wayne Thiebaud both as a student and as a teaching assistant. Sumner also took summer classes at the San Francisco Art Institute, and is influenced by the Bay Area Figurative movement that centered around that school in the postwar period.

 

Sumner has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1998. He has been featured or reviewed in many publications including New American Paintings, Elle Décor, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, L.A. Weekly, Art Ltd., Riviera magazine, Hi Fructose, Cartwheel Art, The Painter’s Table, Boom magazine, and Quick Fiction. Sumner has shown regularly throughout the Los Angeles area since 2003, including in a solo museum show- Vonn Sumner: The Other Side of Here- at the Riverside Art Museum in the fall of 2008. A second solo museum exhibition, Vonn Sumner: Stages, followed in 2011 at the Phillips Museum of Art on the campus of Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania. Sumner’s paintings have been shown internationally in Venice, Italy; Manchester, England, and Switzerland. He is represented by Morton Fine Art in Washigton, DC.

 

Only Painted Fire marks his forth solo exhibition at Morton Fine Art.

 

 

Standing Man (on fire), 2019, 16″x12″, oil on canvas

 

Trashfire IV, 2019, 18″x14″, oil on canvas

 

Trashfire III, 2019, 18″x14″, oil on canvas

 

Neo-Byzantine (Japonaiserie), 2019, 24″x20″,  oil on paper mounted on panel

 

A Fire Without a Trashcan, 2019, 16″x12″, oil on canvas

 

Trashfire II, 2019, 14″x12″, oil on canvas

 

Trashfire I, 2019, 12″x9.5″, oil on canvas

 

Link to available artwork by VONN SUMNER

‘Dogtown’ A Solo Exhibition of New Artwork by LAUREL HAUSLER

26 Jun
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Artist Laurel Hausler pictured with ‘Noir Rose’, 2018, oil and gouache on canvas, 36″x 48″

‘In my mind, there are three meanings of Dogtown.

There are the “Dogtowns” scattered throughout the US, usually desolate dusty places once frequented by rogues and unlucky outcasts.

There is a Dogtown-THE Dogtown- in Cape Ann, Massachusetts. This Dogtown is a historical abandoned settlement, once populated by outsiders, widows, witches and roaming packs of dogs. Today, it is still a wild place and one that should be preserved. Situated amidst Pleistocene boulders, the area continues to be a source of lore.

This exhibition is the third and imagined Dogtown- a mythical place that combines all of the latter aspects—and their metaphysical reflections. It’s a Blair Witch Project woods, a stony, inscrutable wilderness where women and witches live as they wish with dogs for companionship and protection—a place of ritual, noir and labyrinthian mystery, symbolizing persistence in the face of life’s craggy brutality.’ 

-LAUREL HAUSLER, 2019

ABOUT the Artist 
Laurel Hausler was born in Virginia. She works to create mysterious beauty in all media, and to remember and portray that which might be lost and forgotten. The works in this show are composed of graphite, gouache and oil paint on canvas.
Her artwork is featured in book publications including Cutting Edge; New Stories of Women in Crime by Women Writers, edited by Joyce Carol Oates and Retrograde, by Kat Hausler.
DOGTOWN marks her fifth solo exhibition at Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC. and is currently on view through July 3rd! 
ABOUT Morton Fine Art
Founded by curator Amy Morton 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 anyone can become an art collector or enthusiast, 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
52 O St NW #302
Washington, DC 20001
Wed – Sat 12pm-5pm and Sun-Tues by appointment
For further information and images, please contact Amy Morton: mortonfineart@gmail.com

Washington Post In the Galleries: JULIA MAE BANCROFT ‘Through Glass Lace’

25 May
Violet'sWindow_web

‘Violet’s Window’, 2018, ink, gouache, pencil and oil pastel on paper, 20″x 20″

Julia Mae Bancroft

There are fewer photo transfers in Julia Mae Bancroft’s “Through Glass Lace” than in her previous Morton Fine Art show, but the weight of old photographs remains heavy. The D.C. artist’s mixed-media pictures are almost all in black and shades of gray, with just occasional touches of pale pink or green. Bancroft conjures the past as drained of color but crowded with memories.

Texture is as crucial as image to Bancroft’s style. The pictures incorporate pulp, fiber, papier-mache and hand-stitched embroidery, and they are on sheets of paper mounted to stand slightly away from their backdrops. The layers represent what the artist’s statement terms “a glass lace screen” while “piecing together a fragmented narrative.”

That narrative doesn’t seem to be autobiographical. Some of the photo imagery is older than Bancroft, evoking the 1960s and much earlier times. The same is true of the artist’s technique, notably the needlework. The reminders of traditional women’s crafts ground Bancroft’s ghostly reveries in real-world labor.

~ Mark Jenkins, 2019

Julia Mae Bancroft: Through Glass Lace Through May 22 at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St. NW, No. 302.

ThinkingofFalling_web

‘Thinking of Falling’, 2019, ink, gouache and collage on paper, 22″x 11.5″

Remaining available artworks by JULIA MAE BANCROFT can be viewed here on our website and are also accessible for viewing in person at Morton Fine Art.

Morton Fine Art

52 O Street NW #302, Washington DC 20001

Hours: Wednesday – Saturday : Noon – 5pm

Sunday – Tuesday : by appointment

The Washington Post features MAYA FREELON and AMBER ROBLES-GORDON

4 May

In the galleries: ‘Interact + Integrate’ requires audience participation

By: Mark Jenkins

Fabric scraps and damaged tissue paper are the essential ingredients of new work now at Morton Fine Art. Those materials might sound negligible, but Amber Robles-Gordon and Maya Freelon employ them with ambition and impact.

Bubble2_web

MAYA FREELON, Bubble 2, tissue ink monoprint, 44″x 74″

Freelon’s technique began with what her statement calls a “beautiful accident”: finding colored tissue paper stained by water from a leaking pipe. From this discovery, the North Carolina artist developed a method of bleeding pigment from moistened colored tissue onto sheets of white paper, which are so thick they hang as if they’re fabric.

The larger works in “Rebirth/Rebound” were made with a pottery wheel, so the transferred hues spin with verve and grace. The dominant color is often magma-dark red, framed by black and green and white bubbles that evoke the images’ aquatic origins. The most direct print, “Suspension,” is mostly orange and yellow, which flow with the exuberance of a classic abstract-expressionist canvas. Freelon’s accident yields pictures that are assured and bold.

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AMBER ROBLES-GORDON, Kepler 19-b Super Earth, mixed media on paper, 36″x 36″ 

Robles-Gordon, a D.C. native, is known for hanging strands of textiles and other found objects in intricate arrangements. The pieces in her “Third Eye Open” are wall-mounted rather than suspended, and feature circular drawing-collages orbited by smaller rounded objects, some partly covered in bits of garments. The forms suggest zygotes and planets, as well as eyes, but at the heart of each of the larger circles is a leafy motif. Whether seen as cosmic or botanical, the artist’s circling compositions exalt natural cycles.

Maya Freelon: Rebirth/Rebound and Amber Robles-Gordon: Third Eye Open Through May 15 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

You can view all available artwork by these talented artists here on our website! 

WDC City Paper Spring Arts Guide mentions MAYA FREELON & AMBER ROBLES GORDON

9 Feb

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Maya Freelon and Amber Robles Gordon

Toward the end of 2016, Maya Freelon began dealing with issues of rebirth and rebounding: the changes of various identities that happen in midlife. Recent tissue and ink mono prints reflect those transitions, with explorations of more subdued palettes, analogous and monochromatic color schemes. Identity is an issue present in Amber Robles Gordon’s work, as well. For the past year she has been constructing collages that deal with African and Puerto Rican heritage in a patriarchal American society, and pushing against the patriarchy with matrilineal mandalas. While the themes of identity will unify these two solo exhibitions at Morton Fine Art, their kaleidoscopic use of color will likely create the visual complimentary bridge. April 27 to May 15 at Morton Fine Art. Free. —John Anderson

Please follow the highlighted links for currently AVAILABLE ARTWORK by these two fantastic artists and stay tuned for the upcoming fusion of their exciting solo exhibitions here at Morton Fine Art opening April 27th, 2018.

Vonn Sumner’s Solo “Late Empire Style” – Press Release

30 Aug

Morton Fine Art

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASELATE EMPIRE STYLE

Solo Exhibition of New Paintings by Vonn Sumner

September 16 – October 7, 2011

_________________________________

OPENING RECEPTION

Friday, September 16th, 2011   6 – 8 pm

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Morton Fine Art (MFA) presents Late Empire Style, a solo exhibition of new paintings by artist Vonn Sumner. The exhibition will be on display at Morton Fine Art from September 16 through October 7,  2011. The opening reception will be held on September 16th from 6 to 8 pm with the artist in attendance.

 

Sumner Invite

Vonn Sumner (b. Palo Alto, CA; paintings and drawings): his fancifully eccentric characters appear in paintings which invite the viewer into a strange and isolated parallel world.  Vonn Sumner’s markedly West Coast aesthetic was honored with a solo museum exhibition, The Other Side of Here, at Riverside Art Museum in late 2008.  His solo show Late Empire Style at MFA runs concurrently with the artist’s second museum solo exhibition Stages at The Phillips Museum of Art in Pennsylvania.  An understudy of Wayne Thiebaud, Vonn Sumner received his MFA from the University of California, Davis. His work has been shown in numerous galleries in the U.S. and Europe.Late Empire Style
The show features a new series of full-figure paintings and several paintings of truncated and adorned still-life object-like figures for which Sumner is mostly known. The figures appear at first to be warriors from some ancient culture but upon close view they are revealed to be contemporary people, wearing sneakers and wielding not a sword and shield but a common garbage can lid and a comically elongated paintbrush. In a few paintings the “warriors” strike poses of aggression or exaltation, but more often they adopt incongruously downbeat, pathetic postures. Cast against spare and atmospheric color-field backdrops, the effect of these figures suggests a kind of post-modern Don Quixote- romantic, full of conviction, absurdly out of place and out of step. In these figures one can find echoes of depictions of warriors and battle stretching from ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt, through the Siennese and Florentine Renaissance, to Poussin and Goya, and modern masters including de Chirico and Guston. Beyond mere appropriation, Sumner’s figures perform a kind of rhyming ritual with art from throughout history. More contemporary touchstones include the 20thcentury superheroes of DC and Marvel Comics as well as the tragic and hilarious characters portrayed by the great film clowns such as Buster Keaton. Rounding out the show are some non-figure paintings- buildings, cityscapes, a landscape, a cat- serving as palette-cleansers, providing context, and creating associations with the figures.Based in Los Angeles for most of the past decade, Sumner belongs to a generation of young figurative painters who emerged in the 2000s with work that aimed to redefine figure-painting upward: away from academic preciousness and predictability and toward a more imaginative, metaphoric, and theatrical picture making practice. These painters embrace the craft and tradition of classical figure painting while maintaining a sense of playful irreverence and an eye toward the strategies and aesthetics of Modernist abstract painting, conceptual art, comics and cartoons. Along with artists such as Michael Borremans, Julie Heffernan, and those of the so-called New Leipzig School, Sumner is part of a wave of painters with renewed interest in representation and figuration who have helped to open back up the possibilities for painting people after the seeming exhaustion of the genre felt during the bottleneck of fin-de-siècle art at the end of the last century. The practitioners of this new figure painting favor personal and ambiguous narrative over grand statements, muted or dirty tones over bright and cheery colors, and often share a suggestion of mystical or religious yearnings. In this new figure painting the notion of an overarching narrative is replaced by the suggestive or symbolic relationship between the environments where the figure finds his or her self and the figure’s own body language. The paintings in this show are an excellent example of Sumner’s contribution to this recent strain of painting.