The Visiting Artists & Scholars Program presents: Clarence Morgan
Perceived Extreams 2011-2011
The recent drawings, collages and paintings echo the patterns and personal rhythms that arise from within. Each composition also serves to test the buoyancy of new imaginative structures and systems. Thus, these new paintings whimsically and compulsively give voice to the inner-worlds of the mind's eye. The process and material execution in the making of the work is not about perfection. However, it is about paying scrupulous attention to every attribute of the work.
The emblematic forms seem unfamiliar at first glance, yet somewhat decipherable. These impulsively configured shapes and linear elements take their place in pictorial space. Labyrinths of linear patterns connect the principal shapes and accent forms, which are organized into whimsical and animated compositions.
During the process of making the painting or drawing, I build up the surface very deliberately but not strategically. Throughout the initial stages of the work drawing is vital. However, It is not only the expressive nature of drawing and mark making itself that is important, but also a drawing mindset aimed at constructing a visual scaffold for what follows.
The tension between ideas of chance aesthetic and more conceptual modes of working has exposed me to new paths and possibilities for painting.
In the painting “Imagining Vignettes” (above), the viewer takes a journey through a series of transitory levels and layers where the work’s material identity is made evident. The visual information suggest nothing definitive but opens the door to new impulses that feed the imagination. The compressed pictorial space and juxtaposition of linear elements scattered across the picture plane conspire to generate a feeling of both stability and anarchy.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Clarence Morgan is an artist who periodically writes, curates exhibitions and publishes his thoughts on painting. He is a frequent visiting artist and lecturer at universities and colleges as well as a panelist at conferences and symposia. In addition to his studio practice, Morgan is a professor in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis).