Jenny Morgan, one of my favorite painters, is having her 2nd solo exhibition at the Driscoll Babcock Gallery this summer. The show entitled All we have is now runs from May 14th – July 2nd. I wish I lived a big closer to New York as I would love to see Morgan’s work in person.
The variety of texture in Morgan’s work is fascinating. Sometimes there is a soft blurring of the figures features, other times it looks as if some of the paint has been sanded off. In Dark Star the pink of the hair looks like a wash on the canvas which is juxtaposed against the solid graphic shapes of the background. The eye can get lost in one of her paintings trying to decipher which technique has been used to create the various effects in each shape.
This body of work packs a huge visual punch. Florescent pinks, blues and yellows all congregate to yield eye-catching compositions. The bright colors come together harmoniously and serve to compliment the subtleties in the shading and features of the figure, as opposed to overwhelm. The scale of the work makes for images that simply cannot be ignored. Paintings over six feet tall confront the viewer with life size figures. The one to one scale creates a sense of intimacy and invites the audience to humanize the nude women of Morgan’s work.
One of the images that has been released as a preview for the show has really caught my eye. Skeleton Woman features a figure in a yogic pose that has been counterbalanced with a darkly rendered skeleton. The vividness of the colors coupled with the athletic pose are an almost exhausting celebration of life. The viewer can find relief in the dark, muted tones on the skeleton. As striking as this image is, I find myself wanting to see more values in the figure. The body and face look unfinished when compared to the skeleton. Morgan may have intended this to be a statement, however it is at the expense of the visual impact this painting could have delivered.
I love the work that has been released online and I’m looking forward to seeing more of the images after the show opens on May 2nd. Find out more information on Jenny Morgan's website and the Driscoll Babcock Gallery website.