Creating A New Whole: A Group Exhibition of Collage Artwork Featuring Michael Andrew Booker, Lizette Chirrime, GA Gardner, Hiromitsu Kuroo, Lisa Myers Bulmash, Amber Robles-Gordon and Prina Shah. Morton Fine Art January 4 to February 4, 2023 Morton’s Washington D.C. space (52 O St NW #302)
Morton Fine Art is pleased to announce Creating a New Whole, a group exhibition of collage artwork by Michael Andrew Booker, Lizette Chirrime, GA Gardner,Hiromitsu Kuroo, Lisa Myers Bulmash, Amber Robles-Gordon and Prina Shah. Ranging in techniques, approaches and materials—from quilting, tapestry, fabric, paint and appropriated mass media—the artists in Creating a New Whole exemplify collage’s invitation to what Myers Bulmash has recognized as “a process of purposefully taking things out of context.”
Constructing new contexts, forms and wholes, these artists’ practices are frequently as generative as much as they are reparative, seeking to draw connections to what was absent or ignored in their elements’ original context(s). Creating a New Whole, will be on view from January 4 to February 4, 2023 at Morton’s Washington, D.C. space (52 O St NW #302).
Continuing quilting techniques practiced by their respective ancestors, Booker, Chirrime, Gardner and Shah work with resonant materials that speak to the past while enabling the past to speak to the present. Kenya-based, Shah’s personally charged materials include paper, saree, bindis and block printing which she vividly combines using textures, colors and forms, the sum total creating new narratives and perspectives for her inner voice.
DC-based Booker is influenced by the coded and colorful history of quilts, referencing them as sign markers, shields, portals and gateways to help secure safe passage to a parallel utopic, afro-futuristic community, what the artist has called “Afrotopia.” Intensely layering marks of fineliner pen, color pencil, collage and fabric, Booker conjures complex, multidimensional figurative works, his figures and forms cohereing together out of countless small acts.
Mozambican artist Chirrime sources scrap materials from her environment and immediate communities, using fabric, burlap, rope, paint, beads, leather and more to produce dynamic collages that speak to African womanhood, and more broadly, the human condition.
Slicing and collaging Western printed media, Trinidad and Tobago-based Gardner appropriates both content and practice, “creating false images and out-of-context narratives” that ironically and seductively mirror the Western world’s misrepresentation of people of color. Likewise taking a critical, redemptive eye to Western mass media, Myers Bulmash’s “Not Geo” series, a cutting play on National Geographic’s nickname, seeks to rehabilitate and restore to dignity the publication’s now notorious rendering of Africans and other non-Western people.
Overall, a sense of construction charges the works in Creating a New Whole, whether that be the notion of renovating the present and past or extending out of the frame into sculptural dimensions. The latter can be seen in the sculptural geometric-like works of Robles-Gordon (pieces the artist recognizes as “temples, places of spiritual practice” and which reference her larger textile installations) and Kuroo, inspired by the tradition of origami in his native Japan, whose thickly layered applications of paint and canvas exist on the boundary between painting and three-dimensional art.
Abidingly constructive in spite of their rigorous interventions, the works in Creating a New Whole end up with more than they started with as a matter of process.
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