Gail Severn Gallery

Cole Morgan

 

American-born, Belgian artist, Cole Morgan creates detailed mixed media paintings with a process of layering and combining mediums. He unites his own spontaneous visual-language of bright colors, mysterious handwritten scrawl, scratches, glimpses of under painting and magical characters with formalist, abstract compositions. His paintings are often full of objects that appear 3-dimensional. The vibrant colors jump off the canvas and create a puzzle like grid full of mystery. The mixed media surfaces entice the viewer to explore and unravel the canvas both intellectually and materially.


Artist Statement - Round and Almost

I think it was in 1966 in a Design 101 summer class at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, that I heard our young instructor explain that circles were more pleasing to the eye than triangles.  He was from London and had just arrived in the US.  He also said that horizontal lines were more pleasing than vertical.  I guess I thought about that a lot in the years that followed, less in the figurative period of my career, but definitely in the non-figurative period of the last 29 years.

 

Shapes with hard and pointed edges like stars for example, take on a broken and jagged feel.  Like a glass shard, splintered wood or a tailfin on a 60's Cadillac. Irregular shapes with all round contours have no such 'aggression' present.  They seem playful, approachable and touchable.  Not so the star.

 

These shapes are always tricked out in my work.  Rather than just have them floating around the canvas like multi-coloured planets, jellybeans or what have you, I have anchored and enhanced their visual credibility by adding shadows. Mostly to accentuate the 3-D effect but also to tease the viewer.  The use of text in the vicinity of each of the shapes serves further to enhance its importance in the group although this too is just to tease and frustrate the viewer as he/she attempts to decipher my scribbles.  Futile.  Yes, it is my handwriting; no, you can't read it.  It's just a clue that can't be revealed.

 

For the last 10-15 years I have worked with these 'friendly' shapes.  The circle, the oval and everything that is round-ish.  In fact you could call this show "Round and Almost."  While the style of my work varies over the years, these shapes seem to follow in my compositions like anchors.  They are used as pivots and reference points when new ideas and techniques are being explored.  Sometimes in the background as a counterpoint and other times they function as the glue that holds the composition together - Always complimentary.

 

I think it might be a Chinese proverb that says "To be considered good at a thing, you must do it a hundred times."  Having worked with these shapes for years in clusters and in rows and in asymmetric groups, and having made several thousand since they first found their way into the works, I am still amazed that there seems to be more exploration required and more variations to be considered. I am by no means a 'master' at what I do.  For that, it takes a lifetime.

 

Cole Morgan

Antwerp, April 2014

 

Video 

Landgoed Rhederroord, Netherlands,

B.D.B.O. Advertising, New York, USA

Sterling Commerce, USA, Netherlands

Exxon Mobil, Dallas, TX, USA

Quo quo, Hong Kong, China

Landconcepts, Hong Kong, China

Hyatt Regency Hotel, Hong Kong, China

The Honorable Michael Klosson, US Ambassador, Hong Kong

Far Eastern Textile, Ltd., Taiwan

Westin Hotels & Resorts, Awaji Island, Japan

Hallmark Cards, Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Hilton Hotel, Schilpol Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Giorgetti Ben;ux BV, The Hague, Netherlands

FMO, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

 

Collections

Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij BV Assen, Netherlands

B.J.G. Investments, The Hague, Netherlands

Van Heesewijk Bouw BV, Eindhoven, Netherlands

3W Vastgoed, Netherlands, Belgium

Barents & Krans, The Hague, Netherlands and Brussels,

    Belgium

White Lion Advertising Gmbh, Zurich, Switzerland

Credit Mutual, Paris, France

Foundation of the Trocadero, Paris, France

Verwaltungs-und Privat-Bank AG, Vaduz, Liechtenstein

National Glass Museum, Leerdam, Netherlands

FinEdge International Grooup, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Jorg Hasenbach, Antwerp, Belgium

OPark International, Maastricht, Netherlands

400 First Avenue North • P.O. Box 1679 Ketchum, ID 83340-1679 
208.726.5079  • 
info@gailseverngallery.com

 



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Gail Severn Gallery