Tag Archives: washington

Get to know MFA’s new artist MICHAEL A. BOOKER

3 Aug

 

Morton Fine Art is pleased to announce  we now represent the artwork of MICHAEL A. BOOKER. Please explore his video above which explores the inspiration and process of his incredible creations.

 

STATEMENT

My work is a creation of a parallel utopic, afro-futuristic community, told through a series of fineliner pen drawings.  As a form of escapism, this utopic world is crafted within and around the figures themselves by weaving natural environments into the people of this community.  Culturally significant hairstyles and clothing function as symbolic conduits; objects through which I begin to imagine and build this “afrotopia” as both a physical place and as an outer projection of an inner consciousness. – MICHAEL A. BOOKER, 2019

 

BIOGRAPHY

Michael Booker is a mixed media artist originally from Jackson, Mississippi that currently resides in Maryland. He received his BFA in Studio Art – Painting from Mississippi State University in 2008, and received his MFA in Studio Art from University of Maryland in 2012.  He has exhibited in various galleries across Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Maine, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. His work has been acquired by the David C. Driskell Center in College Park, MD.  Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Art at Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring.  Booker is represented by Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC.

 

Available artwork by MICHAEL A. BOOKER

 

Contact Morton Fine Art for acquisition or additional information.

 

Morton Fine Art

52 O St NW #302

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787

http://www.mortonfineart.com

mortonfineart@gmail.com

 

SHOW US YOUR WALL – The New York Times feature on the art collection of Tony Gyepi-Garbrah and Desirée Venn Frederic including VICTOR EKPUK

1 Aug

THE NEW YORK TIMES

 

SHOW US YOUR WALL

Collecting to Explore ‘Origin, Culture, Form, Function and Race’

This Washington couple has floor-to-ceiling art as well as wearable creations and folk art curiosities.

Tony Gyepi-Garbrah and Desirée Venn Frederic at their residence in Washington.
Credit Ting Shen for The New York Times

By 

WASHINGTON — Desirée Venn Frederic and Tony Gyepi-Garbrah live in a light-filled apartment in the Trinidad neighborhood of Northeast Washington that is small in size but grand in scope.

The charcoal walls, stretching up to 15-foot ceilings, hold dozens of paintings, prints, photographs, 100-year-old textiles, collages, drawings, pastels, ceramics and antiques, conferring a museumlike aura on the home.

Ms. Venn Frederic is wearing art as well. Her floor-length slip dress, by the Brooklyn-based designer Fe Noel and the Chicago painter Harmonia Rosales, incorporates the image of a Yoruba deity, Oshun. Ms. Venn Frederic said the appeal of the dress was in its “fanciful and disruptive” character.

When the couple met four years ago, they were acquiring art individually. “One of the reasons I took an interest in Tony was because he understood legacy-building with art,” she said. She and Mr. Gyepi-Garbrah, 39, plan to marry later this year.

He is a first-generation American born to Ghanaian parents who works as an information technology engineer. He is also a photographer and painter.

She is of Geechee and Maroon ancestry. She was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and raised in Montgomery County, Md. Through her company, Combing Cotton, she pursues her interest in social equity.

“God Head” (2011), top, and “Untitled (Red and Black)” (2010), by Victor Ekpuk.
Credit Ting Shen for The New York Times

She also envisions creating a museum of fashion and related ephemera.

These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

TONY GYEPI-GARBRAH In true salon style, 75 art aficionados, collectors and artists stood shoulder-to-shoulder talking art, art, art.

How do you select works to buy?

DESIRÉE VENN FREDERIC Meticulously. I don’t merely collect what I like. I’m attracted to works that challenge the linear understandings of origin, culture, form, function and race. I call these aesthetic triggers.

GYEPI-GARBRAH We buy from galleries, art fairs and auctions. We also scour estate sales and private vintage collections. Often we buy directly from the studios of artists with whom we build friendships. I do a lot of research before acquisitions.

Is there a piece with an interesting back story?

GYEPI-GARBRAH The two mixed-media works by Victor Ekpuk. I went oversees to Galerie SANAA in Utrecht, the Netherlands, to acquire “God Head.” During that time I discovered that Ekpuk was represented by Morton Fine Art [in Washington]. They had “Untitled (Red and Black),” so I bought it too. Now the pair is in conversation. Ekpuk lives in Washington and we’ve become friends.

Figurative wood sculptures, made in Ivory Coast.

Credit Ting Shen for The New York Times

Top, “Chocolate City” (2010), by Steven M. Cummings, and “Inventions & Patents” (2014), by Charles Philippe Jean Pierre.

Credit Ting Shen for The New York Times

Those little wood statues lined up against the wall on the floor look like toys.

VENN FREDERIC They’re Colon figurative sculptures depicting occupations — policeman, doctor, baker — held by colonists in the Ivory Coast between 1893 and 1920. I have a collection of 150.

Your photos capture images that span decades and can be read as a history of our times. How do you think photography represents both society today and in the past?

GYEPI-GARBRAH Photography is a visual documentation of fleeting moments and changing landscapes, and, in this vein, we believe Steven M. Cummings is a master. “Chocolate City” speaks to forced migrations and the displacement of African-Americans from their native lands.

“Fred Meets Fred” is an oversized black-and-white double image of Frederick Douglass that contrasts past and present. A chain dangling lengthwise from top to bottom of the picture separates the two Douglasses. The bicycle wheel symbolizes change and continuance of time.

A sofa in the apartment by Sharla Hammond.
Credit Ting Shen for The New York Times

VENN FREDERIC We acquired the couch from the visual and textile artist Sharla Hammond, who was inspired by “Afro Blue” [a jazz composition recorded by John Coltrane]. The fabric depicts the heads of five Afro-clad icons — Angela Davis, Betty Davis, Pam Grier, Minnie Riperton and Diana Ross.

Above the couch that black-and-white painting seems very in-your-face.

VENN FREDERIC It’s “Cow in the Field” by Andrew Cressman. We operated a gallery in Washington and exhibited his works. I continually approached this painting with a sense of wonder and bought it after the show [in 2015]. It takes up a lot of our wall real estate. I appreciate that some pieces overwhelm, and this is one.

Read the New York Times article in full.

 

Available artwork by VICTOR EKPUK. 

 

Morton Fine Art

52 O St NW #302

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787

http://www.mortonfineart.com

mortonfineart@gmail.com

Video of artist OSI AUDU discussing his “Self Portrait” series

20 Jul

Nigerian artist OSI AUDU brilliantly discusses his graphite and pastel “Self Portrait” artworks delving into the Tangible Self and Intangible Essence of Self. Fascinating!

 

 

Available artwork by OSI AUDU

Morton Fine Art

52 O St NW #302

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787

mortonfineart@gmail.com

http://www.mortonfineart.com

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

 

CNN Style interviews artist VICTOR EKPUK

27 Jun

https://www.cnn.com/style/article/victor-ekpuk-exhibition-get-up-stand-up/index.html

 

Arts

Artist Victor Ekpuk’s mesmerizing mural pays homage to African writing systems

Published 26th June 2019

Written by Milly Chan, CNN

On the opening day of “Get Up, Stand Up Now — Generations of Black Creative Pioneers,” lines of visitors snaked around the courtyard of London’s Somerset House.

The landmark exhibition celebrates the last half-century of African diasporan artists, who have often been denied the recognition they deserve. And if the crowds are anything to go by, the acknowledgment is long overdue.

Among the more than 100 participating artists — from across multiple disciplines and generations — is Nigerian-American painter Victor Ekpuk. His room-sized installation, “Shrine to Wisdom,” invites visitors to sit and learn, while immersed in one of his signature murals, which is based on an ancient writing system.

CNN caught up with Ekpuk to discuss whether his afro-futuristic art pre-empted “Black Panther,” and why we need more platforms to champion black creativity.

CNN: Let’s talk about your new installation at Somerset House, “Shrine to Wisdom.” Why did you create this mural?

Victor Ekpuk: I was contacted by Zak Ové, the curator, to contribute to the exhibition because of the nature of my work — my large murals look at futuristic ideas of learning and knowledge. I write these glyphs inspired by ancient writing systems in (what is now) Nigeria. They are actually knowledge-based art forms called “Nsibidi.”

People come into the room and feel like they are in a sacred space where they should learn something. They’re always eager to know what the symbols mean. The idea was to have an interactive space were people would walk in and be engulfed, (and) feel like they are in the womb of this knowledge. You are engulfed in entirety in writing.

What originally drew you to Nsibidi symbols?

Way back when I was in art school, there was a push for students to look closer to Nigerian traditions. I came to Nsibidi because it’s my direct tradition: I’m from Nigeria. Also its one of the earliest forms of writing or knowledge.

Do your individual glyphs all have meanings?

I’m not necessarily using the traditional symbols in my work. I’ve crafted my own “language,” in making my own abstract marks. There’s also the sense of reducing ideas to their essence, because that’s what the art form is about — to reduce ideas or concepts to graphic symbols.

It’s not like the Roman alphabet, where graphic symbols represent sounds, and when they are put together they make a word which explains a concept. In this form of writing, the graphic symbols represent ideas.

This work has been described as afro-futuristic — would you say this is a fitting description?

Yes, it is definitely afro-futuristic. In a sense, Nsibidi themselves are afro-futuristic signs and technology. You see it in “Black Panther’ — (in) the symbols they used in the palace and on the clothes the actors were wearing. Even bracelets had beads with inscriptions of Nsibidi and other African graphic systems. And each of those beads were power systems that could be used as a weapon, or as a seed to create more.

“Black Panther’ plays into the rethinking of the presentation of African knowledge. I was doing it before the movie. Since I left college I’ve been making work in that style.

With films like “Blank Panther” and exhibitions celebrating black creativity — do you think there is a movement to rethink how African knowledge is presented?

I think so. It makes it easier for me to talk about my work. If I reference a blockbuster movie like “Black Panther,” people have already seen an example of how ancient African graphic systems are used as power symbols. It gives me an angle to talk to someone who has never experienced my culture.

It’s mesmerizing to watch you drawing all over the walls in such an all-encompassing space. What’s going through your mind as you create the symbols?

I’m trying to let my hands catch up with what’s going on in my head at that time. It takes a lot out of me, mentally and physically. There’s only so much the physical body can do! But I do not plan … the next mark, it just flows. I do pre-plan the concept, but when I actually arrive at the space, I don’t make sketches.

What does it mean to you to be part of the “Get Up, Stand Up Now” exhibition?

It’s very significant for me. I believe as an African, as somebody who grew up in non-Western society, it always seems like our voices are not being heard. We’ve experienced a lot of appropriation of the ideas of African creativity, but haven’t had the creators at the center. Until now, when you talk about British art, for instance, very rarely do you see black names associated with it.

As an African in the diaspora, I share in this history of artists not being appreciated — not because their work is not good, but because of the color of their skin. So maybe this exhibit gives an opportunity for a dialog to begin to change. It’s a conversation that’s going on throughout the world. The United States is having that conversation too. Museums in the United States are becoming more inclusive, and they’re having large exhibitions of African American artists, and Africa diaspora artists, that before now have not been represented.

“Get Up, Stand Up Now — Generations of Black Creative Pioneers” is on until Sept. 15, 2019, at London’s Somerset House. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Available artwork by VICTOR EKPUK

 

"Shrine to Wisdom" an installation by Viktor Ekpuk, part of "Get Up, Stand Up Now ---- Generations of Black Creative Pioneers"

Artist Victor Ekpuk’s mesmerizing mural pays homage to African writing systems
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photo courtesy of CNN

JULIA MAE BANCROFT’s “Through Glass Lace”

9 May

We are pleased to share new mixed media artworks by JULIA MAE BANCROFT currently featured in her solo exhibition, “Through Glass Lace”, currently on view at the gallery until May 22, 2019.  Each artwork takes a minimum of 40-60 hours to create.

 

Jellyfish Heart, 2019, 29.5”x 17”, ink, gouache, and collage on paper

 

 

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

 

In my latest body of work Through Glass Lace I continue to evolve the idea of piecing together a fragmented narrative by way of layering medium and texture.  Imagining a glass lace screen through which we can blur the lines between  strength and fragility, imagination and reality, macro and micro.

I chose to focus on creating emotion within the atmospheric spaces, allowing the reflective figures to float across the layers.  In this series we are free to explore the boundlessness of intimacy and how our internal conversations parallel and reflect the spaces we trace.

-JULIA MAE BANCROFT, 2019

 

Thinking of Falling, 2019, 22”x 11.5”, ink, gouache, and collage on paper

 

Alone in My Backyard, 2018, 22”x 23”, ink, gouache, and collage on paper

 

Lace Moon, 2019, 22.5”x 12”, ink and gouache on hand textured paper

Bancroft intricately and thoughtfully applies layers of imagery onto paper using oil pastel, gouache, watercolor, various fibers and ink transfers. Many of the pieces also incorporate embroidery hand stitched directly into the altered surface, complementing the figurative drawings. The intentional absence of color allows the viewer to focus on the obscured perspectives and depth of texture throughout the narrative. Bancroft’s unique and intensive layering process produces developed artworks that take up to 40-60 hours to complete.

 

Murmur, 2019, 14”x 38” (triptych), ink and gouache on hand textured paper

 

Infinite Pools, 2018, 22.5”x 12”, ink, gouache, and collage on paper

 

After the Rabbit’s Bride, 2019, 22”x 33” (diptych) oil, ink, gouache, and collage on paper

A few images of “Through Glass Lace” on view at Morton Fine Art. Hours are Wednesday – Saturday 12pm-5pm and Sunday – Tuesday by appointment.

 

“Through Glass Lace” at Morton Fine Art

photo credit: Alex Mcnaughton

 

“Through Glass Lace”

photo credit: Alex Mcnaughton

 

Enjoy! Please be in touch with any inquiries or requests for pricing.

Morton Fine Art

52 O St NW #302

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787

mortonfineart@gmail.com

http://www.mortonfineart.com

NATE LEWIS exhibits in “Plumb Line: Charles White and the Contemporary” at California African American Museum

21 Mar

 

exhibitions

current

Plumb Line: Charles White and the Contemporary

March 8 – August 25, 2019

curated by: Essence Harden, independent curator, and Leigh Raiford, Associate Professor of African American Studies at the University of California at Berkeley

A prolific painter, printmaker, muralist, draftsman, and photographer whose career spanned more than half a century, Charles White’s artistic portrayals of black subjects, life, and history were extensive and far-reaching. Plumb Line features contemporary artists whose work in the realm of black individual and collective life resonates with White’s profound and continuing influence.

From abstraction to figuration, the artists of Plumb Line (listed below) find conversation with White through the largesse of their canvases, expansive renderings of black skin and black community, and in the treatment of black past and presence in ways that are both epic and intimate.

The plumb line, an architectural tool used to determine verticality, is a featured element in White’s Birmingham Totem, suggesting the work of black artists as architects of change. White himself can also be considered an artistic plumb line: a builder of black artistic opportunities and a compass directing us toward new aesthetic, liberatory possibilities.

Plumb Line is curated by Essence Harden, independent curator, and Leigh Raiford, Associate Professor of African American Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, for the California African American Museum. The exhibition is presented as a companion to the LACMA exhibitions Charles White: A Retrospective and Life Model: Charles White and his Students.

Complete list of artists: Derrick Adams, Sadie Barnette, Dawoud Bey, Diedrick Brackens, Greg Breda, Bisa Butler, Alfred Conteh, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Ariel Dannielle, Kenturah Davis, Torkwase Dyson, Kohshin Finley, Derek Fordjour, Ficre Ghebreyesus, EJ Hill, Yashua Klos, Nate Lewis, Michelangelo Lovelace, Christopher Myers, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Deborah Roberts, Lava Thomas, Charles White, and Deborah Willis

Exhibitions. Programs. Workshops. Events. Conversations.

CAAM is not just a museum. We are a living, breathing experience, a thriving center for dialogue and discourse about art, culture, history, and identity. We promise you’ll find something to love and to take part in here — so visit, and visit often! Located in the heart of LA’s Exposition Park, we are also surrounded by some of the city’s most vibrant institutions, including the Natural History Museum, the California Science Center and the forthcoming Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, and is closed on Monday (except MLK Day!).

Admission is always free.

Driving and Parking

If you are driving, CAAM is at the corner of Figueroa Street and Exposition Boulevard, just west of the 110 Freeway. Please note that our parking lot entrance is at 39th and Figueroa. Please put that cross section into your maps search or GPS device.

 

 

Available artwork by NATE LEWIS