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Jenny Morgan: “One and the Many”

Like the Spice
224 Roebling Street, Brooklyn, 718-388-5388
May 13 - June 19, 2011
Reception: Friday, May 13, 6:30 - 9 PM
Web Site

Like the Spice Gallery is proud to present “One and the Many,” an exhibition by Jenny Morgan whose new body of work formulates a grounded state of hyper-sense while stripping each figure she paints to their spiritual core. In her second solo show at Like the Spice, Morgan locates a mystical familiarity in contemporary musicians and artists. The technical grace of her figurative representation merges with surreal imagination. Thoughtful manipulations bejewel her new work and reveal a renewed sense of reserve. Each full-frontal portrait blossoms out of scintillating colors and effects, revealing layers of the individual and insight into a parallel dimension.            

In utilizing the figure, Morgan facilitates a correspondence between souls. The figures resemble avatars in their presence and disdain for artificial attachment to the contours, rather than the spirit, of the body. Each human portal is transformed by supplemental hues, soft glazes, blurred features, or minute definition into a striking mutant. Oftentimes her self-portraits bear the brunt of her early experiments, epitomizing the fluidity of extremes in the midst of unmistakable comfort. Morgan disengages from her attachment to hands and arms, allowing her varied technique to appear as accessories to her personages rather than staples of her practice.            

Despite the traditional beauty of her oil paintings, Morgan actively contradicts simplistically pretty hyperrealism with gritty psychedelia. Old Masters and a concept of dimensional layering were two significant contributions to the bevy of new work. Morgan has an informed understanding of art history, color theory, and design theory that is simultaneously addressed and deconstructed. These references appear as figments, sheer filters for a dimension that pulls from the multiplicity of the present.

Morgan’s passion for spiritual science translates into an interest in provoking a multitude of physical dimensions. Confronting the raw canvas and its function as a corporeal boundary are important components in many of these paintings. Each additive technique or reduction of the canvas allows Morgan to investigate perceptual layers. Figures fluctuate in and out of the background by way of pattern; stripes, zips, and even checkerboards distort the fore and complicate the viewer’s understand of compositional space.            

Dimensional incongruity in Morgan’s work extracts sobriety, focus, and a sense of yearning from her sitters. The peculiar elegance of her work transcends photorealism in its connection to the body, to the moments of humanity. Morgan fastens to her subject’s breath, thought, and life. She catapults each model into the light.

In the past year Morgan has secured several portraiture commissions for the likes of The New York Times Magazine and New York Magazine, she was also featured on the cover of art ltd. magazine. Jenny Morgan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1982. She had her first solo show in New York at Like the Spice Gallery in January of 2009, and has exhibited nationwide in solo shows at Plus + Gallery and the Pirate Gallery in Denver, Colorado. Ms. Morgan has participated in group shows at Postmasters Gallery, New York, NY; 92Y Tribeca, New York, NY; Millennia Gallery, Orlando, Florida; Columbia University, The LeRoy Neiman Gallery; Smithsonian Institute’s National Portrait Gallery; The Magnificent Basement, London, England; Galleri SE Konst, Falun Sweden; and multiple galleries in Colorado, Florida and New York City. This year Plus + Gallery published in collaboration with Like the Spice gallery “New Territory” a 240 page full color book presenting 100 paintings by Jenny Morgan from the start of her career in 2003 through her major exhibitions in 2009. Ms. Morgan work is in public and private collections worldwide.
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