As a painter, I am probably best known for producing colorful abstract works that embody a certain painterly physicality organized within an overall geometric compositional structure. In the past, these paintings were characterized by visceral brushwork and linear patterns that, until recently, derived their influence from Baroque motifs, architecture and elemental grid schemes.
Over the past six years, I have been working primarily in black and white with forms that resemble living organisms. This shift reflects a notable and fundamental change in my work. Although the focus of my work is situated within painting, the reduction of color and a renewed interest in drawing have redirected the core focus. All of this has opened the door to a wealth of new possibilities for painting. This change offered the prospect of reassessing the way I work and bringing back drawing as central component in painting.
The paintings rely on intractable repetition and a material process that makes apparent the way each composition is developed. There is no summation to these paintings—nothing to sum up, no summary explanation—that will make them meaningful beyond their pictorial presence. Meaning is only possible when that which is presented is taken for what it is—nothing more and nothing less.
The repetitive linear marks, solid geometric shapes and biomorphic forms give the impression of sameness and might be mistakenly seen as dreary. Changes are quite modest, and even these are repeated almost predictably in each painting. Therefore, it’s understandable that others might view the paintings as static and unnecessarily tedious.
From my perspective, the astuteness of the working process is made possible by a disciplined formal structure, repetition and the ability to locate order within random circumstances. I am now confident that drawing exists as an authentic record of the process and experience of thinking itself, instead of simply a visual reference to the objects around us. It is drawing that underscores my studio practice no matter the end result. The fullness of ideas that might be revealed in my work can be detected in the way drawing makes itself known as a vehicle for thought.
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more information about the artist
email Clarence Morgan