Artists Opening Reception: Friday, July 19. 5-8pm.
Art ‘Round Town: Friday, August 2. 5-8pm.
Free and open to the public.
GIANT WATERCOLOR WORLD
My latest work is a series of large, densely hued paintings which are cut out and glued together to create various visual planes. The paintings are composed of a number of layers of watercolors mounted on other watercolors. The resulting enlarged images and moody atmospheres are an attempt to create an eerie, disquieting transcendence, drawing the viewer into an inner world of emotional and sensual conflict.
In this body of work, viewers are encouraged to participate in the paintings as an ‘absent presence.’ The large scale and sensuality of the medium invite entrance into each situation. Objects or people inhabit ambiguous spaces, reminiscent of stage settings where numerous symbolic levels are presented to the audience using backdrops. The viewer may experience an emotional potpourri, depending on the individual’s base associations with the symbols.
People and objects in modern society are often found out of context or alienated from predictable settings – life is complicated and so are the conflicting emotions we experience. The paintings are about these clashes and the necessity to produce one’s own metaphysical symbols, one’s own myths, one’s own spirituality. Yet the hope and peace in the paintings seem to lie beyond the barriers, abysses or ambiguity, hence the discord. The contrasts — hard and soft, dark and light, warm and cold, peaceful and threatening — are juxtaposed against each other, giving resonance to an outwardly simple painting.
Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Robert Morgan’s early interest in art was fueled by the rich traditions of the Berkshires/Hudson Valley region. After residing in Buenos Aires, London, Boston, and San Francisco among other places, he returned to the area of his youth, now living in the Taconic Mountains of Petersburgh, NY, with his artist wife Pennie Brantley.
Bob’s approach to watercolor is unique. While his work sprang from the delicate, sensitive watercolors abundant in the three hundred year history of the region, it has grown into huge collaged pieces that invite a wide, participatory view. With dense pigment, textured treatment of the surfaces and off-beat compositional schemes, he stretches content, technique and scale, reversing the ‘precious’ attributes usually associated with the medium. Bob has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in museums, universities and galleries on both US coasts. Featured in a major retrospective at the Borges Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he was also honored with a prestigious MacDowell Colony Fellowship.
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