I am interested in an approach to art making that explores the often-conflicted relationship between the decorative traditions in geometric patterns found in other cultures and western modernism. However, the recent paintings, prints and collage-drawings avoid culturally specific subject matter in favor of a more elusive pictorial terrain of contemporary abstraction. Inasmuch, my work attempts to reflect a broader generational curiosity where the familiar and unfamiliar converge.

There is a view about art that seems intractably fixed in tradition and history. However, counter to this view is another mindset that understands art very differently. This way of seeing works of contemporary art is not so much new as simply different. Art has always possessed a malleable character and the ability to conceptually as well as materially stretch its boundaries and adapt to evolving cultural circumstances and technological innovation. By the same token, I think it is a curious paradox that art can be so entrenched in tradition, yet remain supple enough to withstand centuries of very complex (albeit gradual) changes to reach where it is today. As a catalyst for the imagination, speculation and unscripted modes of knowing, I find art to be extremely useful and necessary to the health and well being of society. However, as we know, health is a relative term based on whether we experience it ourselves as good, moderate or failing. The relationship between our spiritual well being, physical bodies and our state of mind is paramount -- so it should be with our approach to art.

Clarence Morgan

Other writings by the artist:    Drawing the Line   |   Career Narrative