|todd camplin weekly...
at Carneal Simmons Contemporary Art through March25
by Todd Camplin
When it comes to style, there are artists that boldly make a change and others that stay the
course no matter cost. Artists are like anyone else. They are swayed by making a living and
have successes. Artists will take a hit from completely changing their style, because often
times his or her collectors get disillusioned with their new work. So, if an artist has taken a
style as far as he or she can take it, is it better to experiment and make a change or
keep the style because it is less risky?
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|If there was a national award for the greatest leap in style, subject, and maturity, then Jennifer
Morgan is a great candidate to represent Texas. Back in the 2003, I found myself hanging
around Southside on Lamar. I have frequented the place ever since. One constant there
was Jennifer Morgan’s paintings. She had a style that was illustrative and whimsical. At
the time, I was having a crisis of style, so I immediately rejected it as sentimental. An
artist like George Rodrigue came to mind when I was looking at her work. I must admit,
I had not thought about her work in a while, not realizing I was encountering it again
in the lobby of Southside on Lamar. I was looking at her "We are all Pink"series. A hint
of illustration is still in this body of work, but the overt cartooniness has been dropped.
You might say that the work resembles collage rather than painting. The images she
sources appear to be old and much of this work seems to be laying the groundwork
for her show at Carneal Simmons Contemporary Art gallery.
|In a show titled Mesonoxian Meditations, Morgan builds geometric painted shapes that play with
the illusion of space. Paired with abstract gestures, it makes for a perfect balance of two opposing
painting styles in a composition. Truly, this is a mature stage of her developing art practice. All her
years as a painter have culminated to create paintings that simplify forms and gestures without
the necessity of forced narrative. She has stripped way all those pretences and preconceived
ideas about art and boiled it down to a purer, wiser painting process. Even if she revisited her
paintings with a resurgence of narrative, I think this body of work will help to better inform her
|On this Mesonoxian or midnight moment, I see Morgan will likely surprise us again with a new body
of work shown for a brand new day. I will have to visit Southside on Lamar again soon to find out.
However, right now Carneal Simmons Contemporary Art is showing Jennifer Morgan’s new abstract
paintings until the 25th. That means after this weekend the show is over, so be astonished like I was
and go see this show.