Tag Archives: washington dc

AMBER ROBLES-GORDON in Ahlem Baccouche and ARTNOIR’s Larry Ossei-Mensah “From: Friends, To: Friends”

5 Feb

From: Friends, To: Friends Nov 27 Part 2: On The Journey

 in article

Ahlem Baccouche in conversation with Larry Ossei-Mensah on his journey into the art world, his stance on diversity, and much more. 

IMG_0223.jpg

Leveraging the power of art as an agent for social change and cultural transformation is the mission of ARTNOIR’s co-founder, art critic and international curator Larry Ossei-Mensah, whose latest initiative invites people to become agents of change in the art industry.  

In the first part of this interview, Larry expanded on his partnership with Artsy for the ARTNOIR From: Friends To: Friends Benefit Auction, which aimed to raise funds for the newly launched ARTNOIR Jar of Love Funda microgrant initiative intended to provide relief for artists, curators, and cultural workers of colour.  

In this second part, we discuss Larry’s journey into the art world, his views on diversity, his upcoming projects and advice on leading an authentic life.  

Ahlem Baccouche: I’m always curious about the journey that led people to their current position, as life is never a linear path. What was your journey like?  

Larry Ossei-Mensah: My starting point in terms of art and business was in high school, where I did internships at record labels like Epic and Columba Records from my junior year all the way through university. I wanted to be a record man, I wanted to be Diddy. That experience gave me my first exposure to the intersection of art and business. The art being music as a form of expression, but also music as a commodity: how it can be packaged, marketed, distributed and consumed.  

That foundationally informs my thinking. When I think about an exhibition that I’m doing, I see it like an album release. How do I build content around a show that will be different than just a press release and an email blast? A good example of that would be the Phillips Auction conversation with Tremaine Emory, we used it not only as a space to talk about art, but also social justice and other issues currently impacting society.  

I eventually realized that the music industry wasn’t for me, and worked a bit in marketing and advertising before going to Switzerland to complete a Masters at Les Roches. My mother worked in the hospitality industry for about thirty – thirty five years at the Waldorf Astoria, so there was always a romance of opening a hotel or something similar one day, as it’s an industry that I grew up in. That is something I still want to do in the long term.  

Studying at Les Roches and being exposed to a truly international student body shifted my thinking about humanity and how we engage with each other. It taught me how to really value people, relationships, and perspectives that were different from mine. Just because you have two people from the same city, like New York, doesn’t mean they’ll get on. We can have very different experiences. My time at Les Roches also afforded me an opportunity to travel and explore Europe. As a graduate student, I didn’t have a lot of discretionary income, so I found things that were free and, a lot of the time, that would be museums.  

The American education system makes you believe that there wasn’t a presence of Black people in Europe throughout history. However, by going to these museums in Europe, to a place like Florence’s Uffizi Galleries, and discovering paintings of Black people, even if they’re mixed, was mind blowing. That afro, is undeniable.  

That exposure started an inquiry into who’s telling the narrative of the Black diaspora experience? Who’s controlling the story? So much is hidden from us or recontextualized. For example, one of Sicily’s patron saint is of African descent, Saint Benedict the Black, there are murals of this guy all over Palermo. It’s not a hidden secret, but it’s not openly discussed. I began this inquiry and started taking photographs as a way to document these experiences and began to exhibit these images when I moved back to the states. I exhibited a little, but quickly realized that being a photographer wasn’t my journey. After that epiphany,  I started writing about art and that’s when I noticed that there weren’t enough platforms for artists of colour to have their work be seen, discussed and purchased.  

This was over ten years ago, before it became in vogue. The ability to recognize that and be invested in it fully has allowed me to build a lot of relationships, which was the backstory behind the foundation of ARTNOIR. Knowing artists at the beginning of their career and having a decade-long relationship with them, whether I’ve shown their art or not, provided a spark plug for rich dialogue and collaboration with these artists. Moreover, building those relationships over time helped me shift and expand my thinking about contemporary art.  

Click here to read the entire article:

https://www.madeinbed.co.uk/agents-of-change/from-friends-to-friends-part-2-on-the-journey

Screen Shot 2020-12-03 at 10.18.35 PM.png

Temples of My Familiars R Squared Triangular Fractals, The Yin and Yang Over Color Theory by Amber Robles-Gordon. Image credit: Amber Robles-Gordon website.

 AB: What projects are you currently working on?  

LOM: I will be co-curating the 7th Athens Biennale with OMSK Social Club, which has been rescheduled for Spring 2021.  

I’m doing a show in Rome in November as part of a series of exhibitions called Parallels and Peripheries. The show in Miami included only women artists. In Detroit, we looked at the intersection of Art, Technology, and Nature. In Maryland, the theme was about migration and immigration, and it included first generation immigrant artists. The show in Rome is called Fragments and Fractals and is held at Galleria Anna Marra (a 3D viewing is available). 

We’ll be thinking about fractals as a mathematical concept, the potential to repeat infinitely, and exploring the idea of fragmentation when thinking about layered identities. As an example, I’m Black; I’m African American; I’m also Ghanaian; I’m a New Yorker; I come from a working class background; I’m a male. We try to look at the different layers that compose a person, not just from an identity standpoint, but also from a practice standpoint. 

The show includes six Black artists: Kim DacresKenturah DavisBasil KincaidNate LewisDavid Shrobe and Kennedy Yanko. They all work with different mediums such as sculpture, photography, drawing and painting. It will be the first show in Italy for some of them. Just think about the social climate in Italy, particularly for Black folks. How do we use the exhibition as a platform to key in on those things? I also highlight that the fact that we’re Black does not mean that we’re a monolith. We’re very vast and very diverse in our experiences, our thinking and our creative approach.    

Next, I have a show at the American University in 2021 with Amber Robles Gordon, an Afro Puerto Rican artist based in DC. It will be a solo show of just abstract work, which is exciting for me, because I don’t think I’ve done a solo presentation of just abstraction. So I seize this opportunity to educate myself on movements like the Washington Color School and look at artists like Alma Thomas more closely.  

It’s also interesting to mine this layer of the diasporas: so thinking about the African diaspora experience from a Latin perspective, but then also from an American perspective, because the artist grew up in the United States as well. 

Lastly, I’m toying around with the idea of writing a pocket book on my experience in the art world. I gave a lecture with Oolite Art at Anderson Ranch called “Lead with the Hustle.” I describe my journey, but also talk about things that I’ve recognized that I believe not only artists, but all people should be aware of.  

From storytelling, to relationship management, professionalism, likeability and how to operate on a professional level consistently. It’s about how to work within the art world from a business standpoint and think about storytelling through your work. What is your story? If I was doing an article on you, what would that story look like? Why do you do what you do? 

AB: Are there any artists, curators, businesses, colleagues, or organizations whose work you admire and would like to highlight?  

LOM: In terms of curators, Okwui Enwezor of course. I’m following many curators who are doing a lot of incredible work internally and externally. Among them are Meg Olni from ICA Philadelphia, Erin Christoval from the Hammer Museum and Osei Bonsu at Tate Modern.  

I like what SAVVY Contemporary is doing in Berlin. In terms of fashion, I love what Pyer Moss is doing. They just released a sneaker of which the proceeds will go towards The Innocence Projects.  

AB: Any favourite advice, resources or tips you’d like to share?  

LOM: It goes back to the pillars: really understand why it is you’ve chosen to work within the arts. I think that understanding the why, for me, informs everything else. It’s going to inform where you’ll choose to work; it’s going to inform your values. I recommend this book called Start with Why.  

Cultivate meaningful relationships. The art world in particular, is about human connection. You’ll know a lot of people, but how many of those people are meaningful relationships where you can pick up the phone and call if you have a question, or an issue. How many of those people would you invite over to your home for dinner?  

Branch out. Build a support system. This is going to be a journey and you need people from different spectrums. When we think about mentorship, it’s always kind of thinking of an old wise person, and that’s antiquated. We need to change the way we think about mentorship, as it doesn’t necessarily have to be with an older, wiser person. I think peer mentorship is just as valuable.  

In terms of books, Never Eat Alone is a great book about relationship building. Some people will call it networking, I prefer “relationships” as “networking” feels more transactional. Who Moved My Cheese is a good one to adapt to change. Collecting Contemporary by Adam Lindemann, particularly for artists who want to get a snapshot of the industry. The Hard Things About Hard Things is a business book coming from an honest perspective. Usually, when you hear about a business, you only hear about the success. You don’t hear about the pitfalls, running out of money, being broke and the resilience that it takes. Being an artist is not easy, so you need to make sure to have the tools and the support to navigate the ebbs and flows of this journey. 

And my final tip: Stay true to yourself.

Source: https://www.madeinbed.co.uk/agents-of-change/from-friends-to-friends-part-2-on-the-journey Tags: Larry Ossei-MensahARTNOIRAmber Robles GordonAhlem BaccoucheMadeinbedmagazinePeter Williams ExhibitionOkwui EnwezorMeg OlniErin ChristovalOsei BonsuOolite ArtAnderson RanchWashington Color SchoolAlma ThomasSotheby’s Institute of Art

Available artwork by AMBER ROBLES-GORDON

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

http://www.mortonfineart.com

The Washington Post ~ In the galleries: Rosemary Feit Covey

16 Oct

WP

Written by Mark Jenkins October 4, 2019

Rosemary Feit Covey

There’s a pleasing symmetry between what Rosemary Feit Covey depicts and how she depicts it. Most of the works in “The Dark Re-Imagined,” the Alexandria artist’s show at Morton Fine Art, begin with wood engraving. The white-on-black images are usually supplemented with painted colors and sometimes built up with thread or small found objects. But the incised lines are fundamental, and apt for conveying such hidden natural systems as a fish skeleton or a network of submerged fungi.

AmethystDeceivers_web

‘Amethyst Deceivers 11’ (2019) by Rosemary Feit Covey. Wood engraving, thread, painting on canvas, 36″x 48″ 

Feit Covey has worked with doctors and scientists — including at Georgetown University Medical School’s morgue — so her art is grounded in biological knowledge. Yet the works in this show are not mere illustrations. They attempt to convey the abundance of life, the inevitability of death and the link between the two. In such intricate compositions as the swirling “Fish,” the individual blurs into the collective, much as dead things are reabsorbed into living ones. Like a clump of black earth, Feit Covey’s pictures are dark but fecund.

 

Follow this link to view Available Artwork by Rosemary Feit Covey on MFA’s website.

 

Rosemary Feit Covey’s available work is stored on site at Morton Fine Art, stop by anytime during open hours or make an appointment to view these incredible creations up close in person.  Wednesday – Saturday : 12 – 5pm,  Sunday – Tuesday : by appointment Contact:  mortonfineart@gmail.com -or- (202) 628-2787.

 

 

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

26 Jun

image3

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

VICTOR EKPUK’s “Eye See You” on view at Smithsonian Arts and Industry Building for We the People festival in DC

22 Jun

 

 

Please join artist VICTOR EKPUK in conversation while viewing his monumental installation piece Eye See You in Halcyon’s By the People festival in Washington, DC, curated by Jessica Stafford Davis.

Nearly scraping the ceiling of the Arts & Industries Building, Ekpuk’s 18-foot-high “Eye See You” is the most imposing piece he’s ever exhibited in the District. -Mark Jenkins. (The Washington Post)

Sunday June 23, 2019
2:00pm
Smithsonian Arts and Industry Building on the National Mall
Jefferson St, SW Washington DC  

Artist ETHAN DIEHL interviewed by Silver Brush Limited

28 May

 

FEATURED ARTIST – ETHAN DIEHL

Brush Lady | May 20, 2019

We recently interviewed artist Ethan Diehl after meeting him at the 2019 Portrait Society of America show in Atlanta, Georgia. Ethan has an astounding talent for photo-realistic oil paintings. In fact, his paintings are so realistic that he even has a disclaimer at the top of his website that says, “Yes, these are paintings.” See for yourself!

SBL:  When did you start painting and what inspired you to pick up a paintbrush?
Ethan: I started painting almost before I could walk. Granted, it wasn’t in oil (closer to Gerber’s baby food), but it was the starting point.  My mother babysat a bunch of kids, and she converted our basement into an art room.  A half dozen young artists, mastering our watercolor craft.  I didn’t start painting in acrylics until junior high, and oils didn’t come on the scene until college. I don’t know why I picked up a paintbrush. I’ve always liked the visual world. The stars at night.  Storms on the horizon.  Movies.  Paintings. All of it.  Being able to capture images that lived in my head, and in front of me, always seemed special to me.   Like my superhero power.

“Train of Thought”

SBL: Do you have any formal training or instruction?
Ethan: I went to Stanford to study rocket science. Literally.  However, after a year of not enjoying my classes, I started to take studio art classes.  One of them, a drawing class, was taught by Nathan Olivera.  Nate was an incredible person.  We hit it off in his class, I completely changed the direction of my studies, and he became my art mentor.  More than simply learning the technical side of making art, Nate taught me how to pay much closer attention to what was right in front of me in the visual world.

SBL: Before you became a full-time artist, what did you do?
Ethan: The concept of full-time artist makes me chuckle. I knew very early on that it would be nearly impossible to make a living by just selling art.  So, I got a job, which I still have, as a software developer. I’ve been doing that for 21 years. However, this doesn’t mean that I don’t put in a fulltime amount of work each week in the studio.  I do.  I’ve been doing 40+ hour “work” weeks + 40+ hour “art work” weeks for almost 15 years.

“Tenacity”

SBL: What is your favorite subject to paint and why?
Ethan: People are my favorite subject.  Primarily women.  This isn’t exactly an original concept in the art world.  Haha.  I like spending my time focusing on the beauty that only women bring to the world. Within the subject of women, I only paint women I know.  It’s important for me to have a personal connection to my subjects, because it takes SO long for me to complete my paintings.  I really don’t want to spend months on end staring at a strange face in my studio.

SBL: How long have you been usingSilver Brushesand why do you like using them?
Ethan: I have been using Silver Brushes, and only Silver Brushes, since 2004.  That was the year that I started my professional art career.  I only use 1 particular brush: the Silver Bristlon® Flat size 0. My paintings are made of tens of thousands of squares of oil paint.  Each square is 1/6 in by 1/6 inch.  The Flat 0 is the perfect width for that size square.  The way that the bristles are constructed works well for me, too.  I like the flex of the bristles as I’m working on the squares.  Once I found this one brush, I was hooked.

“Constellation” painting process

SBL: Can you explain your painting process further?
Ethan: I use a pencil and ruler to turn my canvas into the equivalent of a super-sized piece of graph paper.  Then, I spend months looking back and forth between my computer monitor (which has a pixelated image), and the canvas, and painting tiny squares.  My Silver Brushes are never the same afterwards.  I normally use 1 single brush per painting, and then the brush is “retired”.  This process is not recommended for anyone else.  It works for me, but it’s painful.

SBL: Have any artists influenced or inspired your work?
Ethan: Chuck Close specifically influenced the way that I paint, from a technical aspect. I’m inspired by living artists like Jenny Saville, Mark Tansey and Banksy.

SBL: Is your artwork on display anywhere?
Ethan: My art is shown at three galleries:
• Julie Zener Gallery in Mill Valley, CA
• Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, SC
•  Morton Fine Art in Washington, D.C.

SBL: What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Ethan: Work hard. Be nice. Enjoy the process. Fight envy with all of your strength.

For more information about Ethan and his artwork, please visit these links:
www.ethandiehl.com
Facebook
Instagram

Please contact Morton Fine Art for available artwork by painter ETHAN DIEHL.
Morton Fine Art
52 O St NW #302
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 628-2787
mortonfineart@gmail.com

Morton Fine Art Relocating to NoMA District in Washington, DC

12 Oct

After nearly 9 years on Florida Ave, Morton Fine Art will be relocating the gallery to 52 O Street NW, Washington, DC, 20001 in November 2018. The building at 52 O Street NW was built in 1914 in what was then a remote, industrial part of town. It was designed by architect Clement Didden who previously assisted Richard Morris Hunt in the design of landmarks including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Before becoming an arts-dedicated space in 1978, 52 O Street NW housed a meat-packing company, a plumbing company, a Hecht’s furniture factory and Decca Records. NoMA is a vibrant, growing neighborhood nestled next to Capitol Hill, Shaw, Mt. Vernon Triangle and H Street NE corridor in Washington, DC. It also has ample street parking, easy metro access, and close proximity to Union Station.

We look forward to continuing our active solo and group exhibition programming in our new location and also to participating in projects locally and nationally to promote Morton Fine Art’s artists in new markets. Upcoming out-of-gallery, outreach projects include Prizm Art Fair in Miami from Dec 3-9, 2018 where we will showcase the artwork of select MFA artists to a national and international collector audience; an MFA curated group exhibition of gallery artists honoring Black History and Women’s History months at Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA mid-Feb through the end of March 2019; and two month long “pop-up” exhibitions at Gallery B in Bethesda, MD in March and April 2019.

 

New Location:

Morton Fine Art

52 O Street NW #302

Washington, DC 20001

 

New Hours:

Wednesday – Saturday: 12pm-5pm

Sunday – Tuesday: By appointment

 

Map of 2 mile route down Florida Ave NW from our Adams Morgan location to new NoMA location – SO EASY!

Morton Fine Art

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

 

 

The Washington Post reviews KESHA BRUCE ‘Weapons for Spiritual Warfare’

2 Mar

Kesha Bruce_Until I Break Skin_Full Size_FINAL EDIT web.jpg

Until I Break Skin, 2018, dyed/painted fabric on un-stretched canvas, 96″x 96″

The artworks in Kesha Bruce’s “Weapons for Spiritual Warfare” are a form of ancestor worship. Each one of the tradition-rooted pieces in her Morton Fine Art show is “an answered prayer,” writes the African American artist, who divides her time between the United States and France.

Most of these collage-paintings are small and consist of four rough-edged fabric squares daubed with simple geometric forms. The X, Y, + and # shapes are elemental, but rendered loosely to give evidence of the artist’s hand, as well as offer a sense of spontaneity. The largest and most complex are “The Sky Opened for Her,” which is cross-shaped and fringed with streamers, and “Between Starshine and Clay,” whose top third consists of overlapping black squares. The former resembles a ceremonial robe, while the latter evokes a sweeping view of a village under a nighttime sky — a universe conjured from tattered scraps and unstudied gestures.

Reviewed by Mark Jenkins, March 1, 2018.

Kesha Bruce: Weapons for Spiritual Warfare Through March 7 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

Please follow the hyperlink to visit our website  for all available artworks by KESHA BRUCE, and contact us here at the gallery for additional information or acquisition details.

 

NATE LEWIS featured in MASS ART’s new exhibition ‘LEGACY OF THE COOL: A TRIBUTE TO BARKLEY L. HENDRICKS’

27 Jan

MassArt

Massachusetts College of Art + Design brings us this poignant exhibition as a tribute to artist Barkley L. Hendricks’ legacy and a celebration of new generations of figurative artists of color. Many of these artists work in the same spirit as Hendricks and portray themselves; their friends, families, and communities; and the complexities of their lives in captivating and thought-provoking images. Through varied media and diverse approaches, they chronicle the present moment and their work often questions dominant cultural narratives and addresses important contemporary issues.

Dates: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 to Saturday, March 3, 2018
Gallery: Bakalar & Paine Galleries 621 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115
Gallery Hours: Monday – Saturday 12:00pm – 6:00pm • Wednesdays 12:00pm – 8:00pm Free and open to the public

Press: Boston Globe

Available Artwork by Nate Lewis can be found on Morton Fine Art’s website by following the highlighted link.  Please feel free to contact the gallery for a copy of Lewis’ extended artist bio and additional acquisition details!

 

 

MAYA FREELON ASANTE and KESHA BRUCE artwork on view at Capital One McLean

24 Jan

CapOne1

Capital One McLean is currently hosting the group exhibition, Between Memory and Magic in honor of Black History Month. Morton Fine Art has loaned six artworks by MAYA FREELON ASANTE and KESHA BRUCE for the duration of the show.

CapOne2

Between Memory and Magic is a group exhibition exploring the creative contributions of African Americans by establishing a connection between memory, language and spirituality. The exhibition surveys the works of 9 artists providing a balance of realistic, yet poetic portrayals of the human figure and experiences within the culture; as well as works that uplift the subject in a contemporary perspective transporting the viewer to a magical, elemental realm. Between Memory and Magic includes select, diverse artists as a representation of social justice and to convey an underlining objective of peace and understanding.

Available Artwork by these two powerhouse artists MAYA FREELON ASANTE and KESHA BRUCE can be found on Morton Fine Art’s website, follow the hyperlinks attached to their names.  For additional details and acquisition please contact us here at the gallery!