December 18th, 2018

Morgan Fisher at Bortolami


Artist: Morgan Fisher

Venue: Bortolami, New York

Exhibition Title: 6 x 6 x 6 x 2

Date: October 19 – December 20, 2018

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Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of the artist and Bortolami, New York

Press Release:

6 x 6 x 6 x 2 is a painting in multiple parts on two facing walls. The origin of the work was my visualizing two panels separated by a space with the edges on either side of the space jagged, like saw teeth or notches. The irregular edges make us see the shape of the space between them, a space that is negative but just as much a part of what we see as the two panels whose edges produce it.

This simple relation between two parts and the space they produce between them quickly turned into a painting in multiple parts on two walls that face each other. Additional parts produce additional irregular edges and hence additional negative spaces.

The relation between the irregular contours of the parts and the negative spaces they produce is that of complements. 6 x 6 x 6 x 2 extends my interest in working with complementary relations but in a new register, that of shape.

As in earlier work, the colors are the six that we find in the color circle. No need to create new colors or new relations among them. And six is the number of faces on a die, a means for producing a chance result that as such gets rid of composition.

6 x 6 x 6 x 2 is organized in parts that I call stacks. The stacks consist of horizontal panels each one foot high. Starting at the left-hand end of the left-hand wall, I rolled a die to determine the widths of the panels and their colors that made the first stack. The rest of the stacks on that wall were determined the same way. Each stack is six feet high and at its widest is six feet wide, occupying a square without filling it. In the first stack the left edge is flush, the right edge irregular. This relation in the second stack is symmetrical with the first. Two more pairs that are symmetrical in the same way fill the rest of the wall, giving six stacks in all.

The negative spaces between the six stacks on the left-hand wall make the shapes of the six stacks on the right-hand wall. Where there is a panel six feet wide in a stack on the left-hand wall there is necessarily a void in the corresponding stack on the right-hand wall. Two corresponding stacks fill a square, so they are complements of each other. As this is true of the stacks taken in pairs, it is true of all of the stacks on both walls taken together. The complementary relations in the painting are of two kinds: between the physical contours of the stacks and the spaces adjacent to them; and between the physical contours of the corresponding stacks on the two walls.

6 x 6 x 6 x 2 asks the viewer to visualize the parts of the painting that are on either wall fitting with the parts on the other wall. The result of this act of imaginary translation would be a rectangular painting on one or the other wall that is without voids and made of many contiguous pieces, those pieces themselves made of pieces. Like the two arrays on either wall, this imaginary painting is six feet high and thirty-six feet long.

The colors in 6 x 6 x 6 x 2 come from the third edition of The Theory and Practice of Color by Bonnie E. Snow and Hugo B. Froehlich, published by The Prang Company, New York, in 1920. This book in its several editions is one of my favorite books.

– Morgan Fisher

Morgan Fisher (b. 1942) lives and works in Santa Monica, California. Fisher completed his studies for a B.A. in Fine Arts at Harvard College in 1964, then went to Los Angeles to pursue a graduate degree in film, first at USC and then at UCLA. He will have a solo exhibition at REDCAT, Los Angeles, opening October 25th, 2018. Fisher has been the subject of solo exhibitions and screenings at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Raven Row, London; Museum Abteilberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany; Generali Foundation, Vienna; and the Aspen Art Museum.

Link: Morgan Fisher at Bortolami

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