3S Artspace Presents: Giant Watercolor World, in the Gallery at 3S Artspace featuring works by Robert Morgan Press ReleaseJuly 03, 2019
PORTSMOUTH — 3S Artspace announces the upcoming exhibit in the Gallery at 3S Artspace: Giant Watercolor World, works by Robert Morgan (Petersburg, NY).
The exhibit opens Friday, July 19 with an Artists’ Opening Reception held the same day, from 5-8 p.m. with tasty bites provided by Moxy. There will also be extended Gallery hours, from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, August 2 for Art ‘Round Town, the monthly art walk in Portsmouth. Giant Watercolor World will be on exhibit through August 25. Exhibits at 3S Artspace are free and open to the public.
Giant Watercolor World is a series of large, densely hued paintings which are cut out and glued together to create various visual planes. The paintings are composed of a number of layers of watercolors mounted on other watercolors. The resulting enlarged images and moody atmospheres attempt to create an eerie, disquieting transcendence, drawing the viewer into an inner world of emotional and sensual conflict.
Artist Robert Morgan explained the evolution of the series over many years, “I started out doing traditional watercolors and then experimented with oils, acrylics, sculptures-- both representational and abstract. Later, I returned to watercolors for good, but started pushing the medium with respect to size, density, and subject matter-- way beyond the traditional.”
The largest piece featured in Giant Watercolor World is over 14 feet wide. “I wanted to counter the clichéd view of watercolor as precious by making huge paintings that are complex and not sentimental,” Morgan said.
“When we were selecting our 2019 artists, Robert’s work truly stood out,” said Beth Falconer, Executive Director of 3S Artspace. “We don’t often see 14 foot wide pieces done in watercolor! The images are so evocative, taking you on a trip through time and place. They will serve as a luminous backdrop to our Loading Dock Concert Series, or provide a welcoming environment in the Gallery space if we run into rain on a concert day!”
Viewers of Morgan’s work are encouraged to participate in the paintings as an ‘absent presence.’ The large scale and sensuality of the medium invite entrance into each situation. Objects or people inhabit ambiguous spaces, reminiscent of stage settings where numerous symbolic levels are presented to the audience using backdrops. The viewer may experience what Morgan refers to as an “emotional potpourri,” depending on the individual’s base associations with the symbols.
“I want to present contrasts at multiple levels: texture, color, scale, sensation, emotion, even materials introduced,” said Morgan. “I feel these contrasts resonate with the viewer in ways that may not be evident or even the same with each person. I have a viewer experience in mind, but everyone reacts differently to images and sensations. For that reason, it is important to me that a piece operates on multiple levels – I’m not looking for a one-liner.”
“Ironically, I am color blind-- typical red/green. Therefore, my palette is simple. I use only 5 or 6 colors I know very well. Depending on the emotional impact I am trying to achieve in each painting, I focus on the colors that emphasize that viewer experience,” Morgan said.
Visitors to the Gallery at 3S Artspace can expect to see objects out of context, alienated from predictable settings, like a carousel towering above the Mass Pike or even a helicopter set to the background of an expansive herd of deer.
Morgan says the paintings are about these clashes and the necessity to produce one’s own metaphysical symbols, one’s own myths, one’s own spirituality. Yet the hope and peace in the paintings seem to lie beyond the barriers, abysses or ambiguity, hence the discord. The contrasts-- hard and soft, dark and light, warm and cold, peaceful and threatening-- are juxtaposed against each other, giving resonance to an outwardly simple painting.
“I want to grow, learn and exercise my imagination in every painting, so I never repeat a subject. Every piece is a new puzzle or challenge of content, technique, sensation, and emotion.”
Giant Watercolor World is generously supported by: The Sailmaker’s House and Water Street Inn.
Thank you to our Summer Season Sponsor, Ricci Lumber, as well as our July Performance Space Sponsor, Coughlin Rainboth Murphy and Lown.
? Opening Artist Reception for Giant Watercolor World: Friday, July 19, from 5-8pm. Free and open to the public.
? Exhibition Dates for Giant Watercolor World: July 19 - August 25
? More info on Giant Watercolor World: https://www.3sarts.org/gallery/giant-watercolor-worldContact:Beth Falconer, Executive Director(603) 766-3330