Tag Archives: Washington Post

LAUREL HAUSLER’s “Dogtown” reviewed in The Washington Post

29 Jun

 


Laurel Hausler. “Midnight in Dogtown,” 2019. (Laurel Hausler)

Sunday, June 30, 2019

By Mark Jenkins

Laurel Hausler

“Dogtown,” the namesake of Laurel Hausler’s show at Morton Fine Art, is a real place: an abandoned Massachusetts town that literally went to the dogs. But it’s also a state of mind, one that has much in common with the outlook of the Arlington artist’s previous exhibition, “Ghost Stories.”

Like the earlier pictures, these feature spectral presences, mixed-media contrasts and compositions dominated by darkness. So the most surprising of the newer works is “Midnight in Dogtown,” in which a sketchy rendering of a human figure is framed by upside-down black drips and dwarfed by fields of bright orange and red.

The selection includes a few small pieces that employ found objects and encaustic, a mix of wax and pigment. More common, though, are expressionist drawing-paintings that combine pencil marks with oil and gouache. These appear vehement, yet rough in places. It’s as if Hausler leaves openings in case any spirit might seek to enter.

Laurel Hausler: Dogtown Through Wednesday at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St. NW, No. 302.

 

Available Artwork by LAUREL HAUSLER

 

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

NATE LEWIS featured in The Washington Post

30 Mar
March 30 at 9:00 AM

 

Nate Lewis
One of Nate Lewis’s works on display at Morton Fine Art. (Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art)

The photographs of nude African American bodies employed by Nate Lewis aren’t exactly blank slates. The local artist leaves some bodily details — eyes, fingers, nipples — in the pictures he transforms for “Hidden Tensions,” at Morton Fine Art. But Lewis complements the intact bits of flesh with intricate markings, cut into the black-and-white pictures and or added with white ink. The symbols suggest fabric motifs and ritual body paint, but the artist calls them “unseen tensions of the past, present and future.”

Click HERE to view available artwork by NATE LEWIS

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.

 

The Washington Post features JULIA MAE BANCROFT a review of ‘Mending Moments’

30 Dec

In the galleries: Julia Mae Bancroft stitches the past to the present

 December 28 at 4:00 PM

“Mamie’s House,” on view through Jan. 4 at Morton Fine Art. (Julia Mae Bancroft/Morton Fine Art)

 

It’s not only the predominantly gray palette that gives Julia Mae Bancroft’s artwork a ghostly feel. The mixed-media pictures in her Morton Fine Art show, “Mending Moments,” feature old-timey houses and interiors. Arrayed inside are women in long dresses, sometimes with faces transferred from vintage photos. The Virginia-bred D.C. artist graduated from the Corcoran College of Art and Design only a few years ago, yet seems fixed in an earlier era.

The “mending” in the show’s title refers in part to Bancroft’s use of embroidery. She stitches as well as draws and paints, working thin, white strands into compositions that sometimes also incorporate layers of paper pulp. The threads can be abstract elements or represent literal things, such as human hair. The vertical strings that cloak “Moonlit Overcast” suggest both hanging moss and the mists of time.

The effect can be spooky. The subject of “Sitting in Her Empty Chair” has a indistinct face and a clawlike hand. “Reverie,” the most 3-D piece, is built upon an iron grate with a tombstonelike shape. Bancroft, it appears, doesn’t merely ponder the past. She actively disinters it.

Julia Mae Bancroft: Mending Moments Through Jan. 4 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

 

Available artwork by JULIA MAE BANCROFT as well as her artist bio with statement can be found by following the highlighted link to Morton Fine Art’s website. Please contact the gallery for additional details.

VONN SUMNER’s “Bread and Circuses (and Walls) reviewed in The Washington Post

4 Oct

VONN SUMNER, A Big Fat Beautiful Wall, 2017, 80″x65″, acrylic and collage on linen

Vonn Sumner

A Californian whose ancestors lived in that state when it was still part of Mexico, Vonn Sumner is not one of the “build the wall” crowd. His response to that chant is the series of paintings in “Bread and Circuses (and Walls).” The biggest piece in the Morton Fine Art show, “A Big Fat Beautiful Wall,” stacks bricklike blocks of bright color, each rectangle graced with a traditional Mexican decorative paper appliqué. The painter also depicts barriers that almost hide the carnival-style festivities behind them.

Updating a phrase that dates to Juvenal, who satirized life in Rome almost two millennia ago, Sumner paints jesters in colorful, bellfestooned hoods. Many of the performers have loaves of Mexican-style sweet bread balanced on their heads. The clowns look sideways at the edge of the pictures, skeptically avoiding the viewer’s gaze. They don’t want to join the circus parade.

Sumner paints in a realist style, deftly employing modeling and shadow to simulate roundness and depth. Yet he intentionally simplifies, notably by using areas of intense, simple hues that suggest both comic books and color-field painting. The effect is to invoke universal forms — things that will outlast the biggest, most beautiful wall. Vonn Sumner: Bread and Circuses (and Walls) On view through Oct. 3 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

Click HERE to view available artwork by VONN SUMNER.

ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY reviewed in the Washington Post

1 Jul

In the galleries: Digital and traditional media join forces

Museums

June 30, 2017

 

 


Rosemary Feit Covey’s “Gingko,” mixed media on canvas, on view at Morton Fine Art. (Rosemary Feit Covey/Morton Fine Art)

Rosemary Feit Covey

Nature teems in Rosemary Feit Covey’s large mixed-media paintings. Hundreds of pink and red fish school in spirals, and uncountable yellow ginkgo leaves cover most of a deep blue background. Yet the Washington artist has doubts about the fecundity she depicts. Her Morton Fine Art show is titled “The Planet Is a Delicate Thing.”

Covey’s skills include woodblock printing, whose carving technique she incorporates into low-relief pictures that are partly engraved and partly painted. This array’s epic, “Black Ice,” is an immersive eight-panel tableaux; it fills the gallery’s longest wall with blue-and-white ice floes on a darker-than-wine sea. The dramatic Arctic oceanscape, like the polar bear on the adjacent wall, was inspired by a trip to northern Norway.

The artist doesn’t directly portray ecological disasters, although this show includes one of the bone-pile pictures she has exhibited at Morton before. But global warming menaces the polar scenes, and those fish are fleeing the oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout. Covey’s responses to such disasters are both expansive and exquisitely detailed.

Rosemary Feit Covey: The Planet Is a Delicate Thing On view through July 9 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

Please click HERE to view available artwork by ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY.