An Homage to Hollis Benton, Group Exhibition curated by Aaron Moulton
Over The Influence, Los Angeles
May 25 – June 24, 2018
Opening Reception Thursday May 24, 6-9PM
Featuring work by Kathryn Andrews, Dan Attoe, Mike Bouchet, Ellen Carey, Vuk Cosic, Bret Easton Ellis, Cayetano Ferrer, Clement von Franckenstein, Sayre Gomez, Robert Graham, Trent Harris, James Havard, Gregor Hildebrandt, Alex Israel, Paa Joe, Matt Johnson, Lazaros, Joep van Liefland, Mike Z Morrell, Erin Morrison, Mark Mothersbaugh, Patrick Nagel, LeRoy Neiman, Ry Rocklen, Ed Ruscha, Anja Salonen, Camille Schechter, Max Hooper Schneider, Peter Shire, Don Sorenson, Alexis Smith, Mungo Thomson, Andy Warhol, Jennifer West, Jonas Wood, Robert Yarber
This presentation of relief sculptures made in complementary pairs, created by Morrison’s unique process combining both printmaking and casting techniques, brings to the forefront a conversation between artifact and replica. Referencing Etruscan frescoes, early Puritan Gravestones, and more directly the gestures of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s dynamic figurative works, Morrison recasts these symbols with the industrial material of gypsum cement, alluding to the way artifacts are imitated if not outright looted — their original purpose and significance lost or misinterpreted. Through this process of dislocation, artifacts or replicas often take on a new kind of cultural significance where their possession and display is meant to indicate status and wealth.
Do these objects that imitate artifacts become kitsch when a “faux” material meant to imply this sense of value fails to do so? Imitation gold and silver, for instance, are often employed in this effort and are featured predominantly in the exhibition. Recalling a piece of jewelry Morrison had in the 90s, two large panels depict evil eye chains in gold and silver leaf. The evil eye, originally a talisman considered to have magical powers of protection, is depicted with broken links, revealing its artificiality, refuting its symbolic properties and transforming it into a cheap trinket.
Morrison further mines this moment of failed expectation. The Letdown, sharing their title with the exhibition, are two panels of milky-colored recurring wave patterns. The works are named after the physiological response that occurs during breastfeeding; the letdown involves the release of oxytocin (the “love” hormone) strengthening the bond of mother to child. The works recall a memory of simultaneously experiencing the letdown breastfeeding her son while feeling extreme despair watching Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign concession speech. This bittersweet moment triggered a heightened awareness of injustice so profound that it called her to action, altering her sense of place and duty in the world. Turning the waves into guilded flames, she carries this experience of complicated emotion into Ecstasy, two panels depicting gesturing hands. Though hands are a repeated trope in Morrison’s work, here they specifically reference Bernini’s The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa. Teresa, (one of the few female saints) accounted to have experienced a love of God with a pain “so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it.” This conflation of the body’s letdown while feeling emotionally let down, waves of euphoria and waves of pain, inform Morrison’s understanding of high and low, unmet expectation, false narrative, and the power of imagery and symbolic gesture.
Despite the cynicism required to grasp the concept of kitsch, Morrison nevertheless strives for a level of repose in her pieces. In two final panels Morrison recreates a souvenir pendant that depicts a landscape. She recognizes that while it may have sentimental value it is not a piece of fine jewelry. Interrogating and transforming the souvenir into art object through her labor-intensive process, Morrison seeks a sincere means of making something well-crafted and whole.
When the Fire Burns Out, Two Person Exhibition
Katie Sinnott and Erin Morrison
Chimento Contemporary, Los Angeles
July 29 - August 19
End of Summer Summer Show, Group Exhibition
24 Hour Charlies, Malibu
September 3-4, 12pm-12pm
Featuring work by Rema Ghuloum, Shanna Waddell, Margaux Oden, Trulee Hall, Matthew Page Greene, Matthew Lax, Anna Breininger, Lauren Quin, Erin Morrison, Dustin Metz, Paul W Waddell, Young Joon Kwak, Lili de Magalhaes, Elizabeth Ferry.
Object Decorum, Solo Exhibition
Ochi Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho
August 13 - September 30
Ochi Gallery is pleased to present Object Decorum an exhibition of new work by Erin Morrison. This is the artist’s first exhibition at the gallery. It will open Saturday August 13th and will continue on view through September 30th. An opening reception will be held August 13th from 5pm – 7pm.
Erin Morrison makes her paintings by casting hydrocal surfaces in a monoprint process with materials such as fabrics and linoleum to provide texture and create three dimensional grounds upon which she then applies paint. This process creates a particular spatial flattening, similar to collage, where the resulting singular surface is reliant on of the traces of many. The finished surfaces have a kinship to ancient reliefs or medieval tapestries, their imagery narratively evocative even while relying on simplistic forms and compositions.
This exhibition marks a turn by Morrison to more industrial materials for her relief methods. Architectural motifs such as the patterns from concrete walls around her neighborhood and industrial floor covers provide new textural associations and pull the outside world into the work. Balancing this tougher textural palette in the casting is renewed attention to the texture of the paint itself. Especially in work such as Black Hand, repeated cleaning and polishing are combined with a sealing application of wax to create a smooth, luxe surface that calls to mind California’s Finish Fetish movement.
With this body of work Morrison’s subject matter moves to the drawing room. Still lives, vases, ferns and flowers all speak of the most formal of the domestic spaces, a place where nature is subjugated by etiquette. Decorus objects are those that are well behaved. They are at home in drawing rooms and country clubs, spaces ruled by good taste. A painting is the quintessential decorus object, a marker of the status and class of its owner, it adds pleasure and decoration to its environment.
- text by Katie Bode
Memory Theater, Group Installation by Srijon Chowdhury
UPFOR Gallery, Portland
April 13 – May 28, 2016
Featuring work by Arnar Asgeirsson, Jack Bangerter, Sarah Burns, Alexander Collins, Scott Cowan, Katy Cowan, Liz Craft, Zoe Crosher, Roy Dowell, Alec Egan, Grace Eunchong, Andreas Gurewich, Regina Herod, India Lawrence, Ellen Lesperance, Sofia Londono, Jason Bailer Losh, Anna Margaret, Erin Morrison, Kori Newkirk, Jorunn Hanke Ogstad, Pablo Picasso, Fay Ray, Charlie Roberts, Allison Schulnik, Brian Strandberg, Katie Thoma, Dani Tull
Temporary Installation, curated by Sharón Zoldan
January 4 - 31, 2016
Deep Superficial Perceptions, Group Exhibition
CES Gallery, Los Angeles
January 16, 2016 – February 20, 2016
Featuring work by Samantha Bittman, Julia Bland, Matias Cuevas, Alex Ebstein, Aaron Farley, Doty Glasco, Erin Morrison, and Loring Taoka
When the Sun Hits, Group Exhibition, Glendale
August 9 - September 20 2015
Featuring work by Miyoshi Barosh, Channing Hansen, JPW3, Jennie Jieun Lee, Erin Morrison
Featuring work by Tomory Dodge, Joanne Greenbaum, Jane Hugentober, Tom Knechtel, Erin Morrison, and Craig Taylor
Exhibition review: New American Paintings
Relief, Solo Exhibition, Los Angeles
February 28 - April 1 2015
Samuel Freeman is pleased to present Relief, Erin Morrison’s debut solo exhibition. Working with plaster, paint, and fabric, Morrison creates highly tactile surfaces that exist somewhere between painting and sculpture—as relief. By paying homage to tradition while respecting physical and cultural materials, the work permits a broader audience than one within the contemporary institutional framework.
Each piece begins with a unique handmade quilt, sewn from fabrics selected for surface texture and ability to transfer colour. These intentionally modest abstractions are used to form a plaster cast over a stretched burlap frame. The quilt is peeled away when the plaster has set, leaving behind a low-relief topography of colour and form, shredding the source material in the process. This shallow plaster surface becomes Morrison’s “blank canvas,” rich with implicit meaning before even a single brushstroke is applied. The final painted marks—abstract forms, language fragments, and figurative elements—are equally oblique references to Terry Winters, Paul Klee, and Grecian archaeology.
Through the use of the quilt, each work arises from an historically complex ground. Influenced by the German textile designs of Annie Albers, Gunta Stolz, and Sonia Delauney, as well as the geometric improvisations from Gee’s Bend, Alabama, Erin Morrison takes abstract patterns and imagery to produce an aesthetic language stripped of literal meaning yet complexly referential in placement. By decoupling her referents from their context, the work is relieved of historical burden—as craft, domesticity, utility—and in doing so, revels in the nuance of source and final form.
links: Exhibition Review: The LA Times
Exhibition Review: Art Talk, KCRW