Harold John Hansen, Abstraction—Blue, undated. Acrylic on board.
Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia. Gift of the Robert Powell
Coggins Art Trust.

Style and Attitude: Abstract Art in the South
NOVEMBER 17, 2018–JANUARY 12, 2019

This exhibition examines abstraction and abstract expressionism—the dominant mode of artistic expression in post–World War II America—through a Southern lens. Few art movements are as closely associated with a specific time and place as abstract expressionism is with New York City in the 1940s and 1950s. It was the first American movement to achieve international recognition, and it put New York City at the center of the Western art world. It was much bigger and more widespread and influential than its ties to New York would seem to indicate, however. The influence of the movement was certainly felt in the South, though it came later and never quite achieved the dominance that it did elsewhere. That said, many Southern painters were comfortable with the organic materiality of the idiom. In the work of such artists as Brian Rutenberg, Herbert Creecy, Herb Jackson, and Vincencia Blount, one can see a certain reverence for the cycles of the natural world, which seems a distinctly Southern feature of the work shown here. Also in the exhibition is the work of certain artists—Lamar Dodd, Augusta Oelschig, and Freeman Schoolcraft among them—who are not generally associated with abstraction, as well as such important artists as David Driskell, Sam Gilliam, and Dusti Bongé. The exhibition reveals a too-little-seen but unusually rich and historically important aspect of the Morris Museum’s permanent collection.

Anne Marchand, Energy Echo, 2014. Acrylic, ink, latex, and fabric.
Courtesy of the artist.

Recent Abstractions by Anne Marchand
JANUARY 26–APRIL 14, 2019

Anne Marchand was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. She says that growing up in such a colorful environment, redolent with Spanish, French, and African influences, left a lasting impression on her color sensibility. She traveled widely throughout the South, which had a similarly profound effect on her developing visual vocabulary of form and color derived from nature. She earned a bachelor’s degree in art from Auburn University in 1971 and a master of fine arts degree from the University of Georgia in 1975. Since the mid-seventies, she has lived and worked in Washington, D.C. She and her artist husband have traveled widely, experiencing the visual cultures of Europe, Central America, India, and Thailand. All have served as inspiration for her art.

Her vibrant, colorful, large-scale abstract paintings are alive with shifting space, moving color, and animated lines. They reflect a range of perspectives: images of deep space, views from airplanes and automobiles, perceptions of natural and manmade textures and patterns, along with their emotional resonances, all distilled together. Her mature work is the result of years of experimentation, particularly with acrylic mediums and interference and pearlescent pigments. With these materials, qualities of radiance and light became active metaphors reflecting an inner state of being. Images of planets from the Hubble telescope inspired the painter to introduce circular imagery into her work. The nebulas and galaxies suggested biological structures, and Marchand realized the connection between space and the body as manifestations of the same universal energy. Her paintings capture a sense of wonder, introspection, and imagination.

Marchand’s work has been recognized with many honors and awards, is included in corporate and private collections across the country, and has been exhibited widely in museums and galleries from New York to California. She teaches private classes and maintains a studio in Washington, D.C.
(Information and quotes from the artist’s biography and artist statement, annemarchand.com)

Horace Talmage Day, Toomer’s Boatyard, Buckingham Landing,
circa 1938. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. H.
Talmage Day.

Views of Georgia and South Carolina by Horace Talmage Day

Horace Talmage Day (1909–1984) gained early recognition for his portraits and landscapes, particularly his paintings of Georgia and the Carolina low country, the subject of this exhibition.

The eldest of four children born in China of American missionary parents, he was already painting accomplished landscapes by the time he was twelve. He came to the United States to attend the Art Students League in New York City, where he studied with Kimon Nicolaïdes, Boardman Robinson, and Kenneth Hayes Miller. In 1936 he was appointed the first director of the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art in Augusta. It was during that time that he discovered the landscapes of Georgia and South Carolina.

The work in this exhibition has been lent to the Morris Museum by the artist’s son H. Talmage Day, Jr. The exhibition has been made possible by the generous assistance of H + K Gallery of Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Jonathan Green, The Passing of Eloise, 1988. Oil on Masonite.
© Jonathan Green. Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia.

Jonathan Green: Selections from the Permanent Collection
NOVEMBER 21 2018–JANUARY 27, 2019

Born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1879, Edgar Hewitt Nye lived, worked, and taught in Washington, D.C., for fifty-eight years. He was educated in public schools before entering the Corcoran School of Art at age thirteen, where he studied for eight years before setting off on the requisite grand tour of Europe. Along the way, he married and spent a brief time studying at Oxford. On the Nyes’ return to Washington, he settled into his studio and began to produce a vast body of work, mainly landscapes and street scenes. He exhibited widely in Washington and elsewhere. His work was included in group exhibitions hosted by the Washington Water Color Club, the Society of Washington Artists, the Society of Independent Artists, the Washington Landscape Club, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. He was the recipient of many honors and awards, and on the first anniversary of his death the Corcoran Gallery of Art presented a memorial exhibition of his work in recognition of the prominent place he held in the Washington art community. His work is part of the permanent collections of the Phillips Collection, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Corcoran Collection of the National Gallery of Art, and the Morris Museum of Art, to cite just a few. (Information from www.studioantiquesandfineart.com.

William Greiner, Blue Heart, Houma, Louisiana, 1989. Digital C-print.
Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia. Gift of William Greiner.

Local Color: Photography in the South
DECEMBER 8, 2018–FEBRUARY 17, 2019

Local Color, an exhibition of more than forty works drawn from the Morris Museum’s permanent collection, explores the special role that color photography has played in the history of Southern photography since it was first popularized by William Christenberry and William Eggleston. In addition to those pioneers, the exhibition features work by John Baeder, William Greiner, Birney Imes, Jim McGuire, and Meryl Truett, to cite just a few. The work of these artists focuses on the beauty to be found in the ordinary and the everyday. All of them have devoted their careers to a continuing exploration of the out-of-the-way South, documenting the unique characteristics of their native or adopted region, its people, its landscapes, and its aging architecture. Local Color places their work in a larger narrative of photography in the South.

Billie Ruth Sudduth
Richard Royal, Vase, 1989. Blown and cased iridescent
glass. Courtesy of Brunk Auctions.

Contemporary Studio Art Glass from the Collection of Eugene Fleischer

The history of the studio glass movement in America is relatively brief. In fact, it’s barely more than fifty years old, dating back to demonstrations conducted by Harvey Littleton and Dominick Labino at the Toledo Museum of Art in 1962. The historical context for its beginnings, the Cold War era, is endlessly interesting.

In this, the second exhibition that the Morris Museum has organized from his collection, we have once again—for reasons of coherence (and with a nod toward the limitations of space)—kept the selection to American glass artists. Among those whose work is now on display are Harvey Littleton, the founder of America’s modern studio art glass movement, Dan Dailey, Rollin Karg, and Tommie Rush—all of them represented by examples of their work that have never been exhibited before.

This is the first installation in what is planned as a continuing display of studio art glass from the Fleischer Collection. The collection will be on indefinite display and, periodically, will be refreshed with other pieces from the collection.

>Past Exhibitions

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