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Art Morrill

On view:

September 23 - October 29

Reception: Friday September 23, 2022 6:00-8:00 PM 

Clunky assemblages of base and quotidien materials. Fragile bodies clumsily pieced, stitched, and glued back together. Surgery is a process that isn’t that different from building a piece of art. Varying degrees of certainty (or uncertainty) guide the artist and surgeon alike toward a finished product that hopefully has vitality. My fascination in the artwork/body parallel and their malleability began with several conversations I had with doctors and surgeons attending to my newborn son as he underwent surgeries, recuperation, and rehabilitation. Born with two heart defects, my son required surgeries and treatments to disassemble, reorganize, and reprogram portions of his heart. As the medical professionals described the processes that our son would undergo, I couldn’t help but think that their descriptions were similar to how a mechanic might describe the repair of a vehicle. This objectification of the body was further reinforced after a successful open heart surgery. Grateful yet horrified, I reflected on the wires and plastic tubes that pierced and intervened on his body and realized that the construction and systems of our bodies may not be that removed from quotidien objects and vessels which can be taken apart or broken, pierced, altered, and reassembled to maintain or improve their function. 


This odd objectification of the body has become a recurring theme in my practice as I consider what layering and juxtaposition can mean in the context of painting and sculpture. Carved wood and cardboard covered with the plastic film of acrylic paint are appealing in their ability to fluctuate between seeming to be hard and rigid to soft and flexible. At times these materials are stitched together similar to skin and tissue tugged back together. Assembled in a basic language of abstraction, notions of precision versus the hand, solid versus fragility are juxtaposed into clunky assemblages. Bright, celebratory colors invite the viewer to experience feelings similar to the hope and wonder I have in our living, imperfect bodies that can thankfully be pieced and fastened, stretched and essentially re-programed back together. 


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