PAST Exhibitions & EVENTS
Black and Yellow: Work by Donald Morgan
Saturday June 6, 2015-6-9PM
June 6 - July 18, 2015
Donald Morgan’s exhibition, Black and Yellow, will combine two complimentary bodies of work. His concepts are generated from reworking narrative elements from books, a loose process of adapting and re-territorializing text into sculptures and paintings. The works are emblematic of Morgan’s hard edge, geometric aesthetic while incorporating aspects of visual dissonance, the familiar becoming unfamiliar.
The first narrative thread of this exhibition consists of black laminated wood constructions, inspired by recurring themes from war novels. The pieces are sized relative to the human body, evoking surveillance and the potential threat of physical harm, in particular from enemy fire. Punctuating that uneasy relationship are meticulously configured holes creating a connection to eyeholes or bullet holes. The yellow hued pieces consisting of both sculptures and paintings are influenced by western themes, in particular Robert Coover’s postmodern western Ghost Town. It is a disjointed hallucinogenic picture of a cowboy’s journey through a threatening western landscape, an off-beat take on the trope of the cowboy hero. This body of work also circles back around to the premise of impending physical danger, re-contextualizing Coover’s own exploration of conventions found in the western genre.
Both bodies of work intertwine through form and content, responding to narratives that explore a universal concern with physical safety and keeping one’s body intact. In these narratives, Morgan sees a direct connection to his own practice; “In adapting writing into physical form, I have a preoccupation with how the viewer physically encounters my work.” He takes special care to construct the experience rooted in bodily sensation. While not actually interactive, his works are “passive-aggressively interactive”, sized relative to interactions based in a conceivable reality. His work re-fashions aspects of his literary source material into unique sculptural and pictorial configurations, creating complex associative and phenomenological experiences for the viewer.
Donald Morgan has been included in numerous exhibitions, including High Noon, Fourteen30 Contemporary, Portland.Object Salon, Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles; Broken Window Theory, Gridspace, Brooklyn; The Happiest Holiday, Rocksbox Contemporary Fine Art, Portland; Black Moon Rising, Ditch Projects, Springfield; The Collective Show, Human Resources, Los Angeles; Bent, Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland; Submerging Artists II, Dark Fair, Cologne. Fourteen30 Contemporary in Portland also represents him. Morgan received his MFA from Art Center College of Design in 2001. Morgan was a finalist for the Portland Art Museum’s 2013 Contemporary Northwest Art Awards. He is member and Co-founder of Ditch Projects, an artist run exhibition space in Springfield, Oregon, and Co-Founder of the Coast Time artist residency in Lincoln City, Oregon. Donald Morgan lives and works in Eugene, Oregon, where he is Assistant Professor at the University of Oregon.
Images courtesy of Rik Sfera.