Cole Morgan - Shadows
CMYK & Arcs, Gallery Jones, Vancouver, Dec. 1 2016 to Jan. 20 2017.
Cole Morgan’s latest paintings are a change from his previous style, abstractions that play with trompe l’oeil, fooling the viewer’s eye with shapes –often balls – that look as if they are lifting off the canvas. The shift in his practice came as he was recovering from a hernia operation a year ago. Unable to sit or stand he had plenty of time to think. “I decided I needed a departure for my own sanity” he says.
Long interested in creating rich backgrounds for his paintings, Morgan began working with white acrylic and black spray paint diluted with mineral spirits, which helps the black paint drag through the white. Then he began to experiment with ink left over from an old computer printer and discovered how different printer ink is from acrylic paint. When added to his process, it created unpredictable – but interesting – results.
“When you mix water-based white acrylic with water-based coloured inks you get a rainbow of strangeness, depending on the intensity of the ink” he says.
Morgan made some small works, had good feedback, and continued experimenting. “ You don’t know what’s going to happen when its dries”, he says. “There’s a surprise under every painting when I start. I can’t control it”. The work he is showing at Gallery Jones features randomly places multi-coloured arcs that float on canvases of various sizes. “I am very pleased with these geometric shapes that are soft and pleasing to the eye,” he says. “I say that because they’re roundish. There are no sharp edges. There are no triangles or rectangles. Everything has a soft flow to it”.
Galleries West/Fall Winter 2016
Cole Morgan - Curated
Dallas Design Center’s Culp Associates and George Cameron Nash offer exciting contemporary art by Cole Morgan.
In 1990, Nash and Williams were walking up Canyon Road in Santa Fe when a painting caught their eye. “Chinese red being my favorite color, I was taken in,”says George. We looked at it for three days and finally bought it on lay-away”. That was the basis for a long and profitable friendship with Cole Morgan and his wife Rina. They soon went to Antwerp to visit the artist, and a showroom exhibition was planned. “I find Cole Morgan’s work to be wonderfully abstract, full of mystery, tension and striking, dramatic color – all waiting to be discovered. Cole Morgan’s take on his work, “From the realist drawings of cowboys and landscapes in the 70’s and 80’s, to the abstract paint and mixed media works since then, I have yet to find the shoe that fits. I suppose this natural curiosity is what helps me to maintain my investigative edge.
Santa Fe journalist Kathleen McCloud explains his works this way, “It is as if Morgan, after many years in a black-and-white realist world of tell-all images, is relishing both color and the question. Like all urgent notes and brilliant doodles, his works capture ideas at their inception.”
Showing fine art in a showroom is a true reflection of what the art might look like in an actual home. The art is being viewed in this professional setting many times by the homeowner and their designer, offering a great opportunity to show the diversity of hanging contemporary art both in traditional and more modern environments.
Showing fine art in a classic modern showroom makes all the sense in the world. “Fine furniture deserves fine art- anything less is a disservice to the client and to the home.
Peggy Levinson Patron April/May 2017 Patonmagazine.com
Photography: Kim Leeson