Clarence Morgan’s studio practice can be understood best as an exploration or excavation by which he endeavors to work through the complex relationship between abstract form and meaning within the context of contemporary painting. As a painter, he has produced works that are situated somewhere between figuration and abstraction. Recently, his paintings have pursued a path that endeavors to expose sources of knowing and lucidity that contradict perceived notions of chaos and order by exploring visual systems, repetition, and the random clustering of forms and shapes making up each abstract composition.
Mr. Morgan’s paintings, drawings and prints have appeared in over 200 one-person and group exhibitions nationally and internationally. During the summer of 2009, he was invited to participate in an international exhibition titled The Rule of Art: New Artworks by Postmodern Artists from China, Korea and the United States at the Korea Cultural Service Center in Beijing, China. In the fall of 2009, Dax Art Space in Beijing, China featured his work in a one-person exhibition in the 798 Gallery District. Concurrent with this exhibition a parallel installation of his paintings and drawings called “Painting & The Abstract Truth: Clarence Morgan selected works 2003-2009 were shown at the Beijing Film Academy’s gallery. Since 2005, his work has been shown in a variety of exhibition venues that include the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (2007), Fine Arts Gallery at the University of Arkansas Little Rock (2007), Romo Gallery in Atlanta, GA (2007), Cynthia Reeves Contemporary in New York City (2007), The Palmer Art Museum at Penn State University (2006), and Thomas Barry Fine Art in Minneapolis (2005).
His work can be found in the permanent collections of Cleveland Museum of Art, Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, General Mills Corporation, Olin Library at Washington University in St. Louis, U.S. Department of State Embassy in Albania, Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Institute of Art among others. He has been the recipient of a McKnight Individual Visual Artist Fellowship (2000), Jerome Foundation Visual Arts Travel & Study Grant (1998), Bush Foundation Individual Visual Artist Fellowship (1998), Individual Artist Grant from Art Matters, Inc. in New York (1990), Minnesota State Arts Board, Regional Artist Fellowship, and a Southern Arts Federation/NEA Artist Fellowship (1988).
Morgan received his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Fine Arts and a certificate of completion from The Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts. He has been a frequent panelist and presenter at conferences addressing the subject and issues surrounding abstract painting. In addition, he has periodically written essays on art and painting. He has been a visiting artist and given presentations about his work at Yale, Stanford, University of Washington, Cooper Union School of Art, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, James Madison University, Washington & Lee University, Michigan State University, and Cranbrook Academy of Art, among many others.