Reception: There will be a reception for the artist on Thursday, December 15, 2011, from 6 – 8 pm
For HEADQUARTERS, Donald Morgan's first solo show in NYC, the window front cubicles at Gridspace are transformed into a site specific façade of faux shattered window panes. Utilizing hand cut shards of mirrored plexi and silk screened images, the piece is characterized by the sharp “real time” immediacy inherent in the mirrored surfaces in contrast with the flat-footed yet almost spectral silk screens. The icons of the piece, ie, the shattered “glass”, a stylized spider’s web, a distorted peace sign and a house cat paused while peering out at the viewer, all function together to reference different moments or processes. For instance, the slow construction of a web, the quick action of breaking a window and the resulting instant creation of dark, interior negative space, the fact of the peace sign’s loaded yet nebulous historical context and the photographically arrested gaze of the cat which then momentarily fixes our gaze. The resulting effect is characterized by a deliberate and off-kilter sense of different kinds of time unfolding concurrently.
Donald Morgan’s work is invested in re-presenting and re-fashioning a lexicon of forms and icons which vary widely in source, from northwest forest imagery to the artifacts of specific cultural practices. Combining modernist tropes with an often regionalist visual vernacular, his work conveys an open-ended narrative sense as well as a sort of pleasurable visual dissonance, as if something familiar has been rendered into the relatively unfamiliar. His paintings and sculptures function as unique combinations of materials and signs that strive to produce novel and complex experiences for the viewer.