Robert C. Morgan
For more than 40 years I have been working with ideas from the Tao Te Ching, the ancient Chinese book that teaches the direction of nature as "the way." I am interested in the paradox between the instant absorption and reflection of light.
I use metallic colors the way other painters might use primary and secondary hues. The exceptions are iron oxide and ultramarine blue. The black is not black but a combination of ultramarine and burn umber, a technique acquired from the late Korean artist Yun Hyongkeun and the American painter Ad Reinhardt who often worked with traditional Asian ideas.
I do drawings at the outset but the paintings rarely if ever hold to the initial drawings. In contrast to the colored ink paintings of Sol LeWitt the concept in my paintings does not remain static. Rather my paintings evolve from an initial drawing that changes along the way. My work is essentially intuitive, not mathematical.
While I work with geometrical forms, I try to emphasize intimacy in the scale of my paintings in order to augment the possibility of extreme focus.
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Robert C. Morgan is an internationally renowned art critic, curator, artist, writer, art historian, poet, and lecturer. He holds an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1975), and a Ph.D. in contemporary art history from the School of Education, New York University (1978). Dr. Morgan lives in New York, where he lectures at the School of Visual Arts and is Adjunct Professor in the graduate fine arts department at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He is Professor Emeritus in Art History from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Robert Morgan is the author of more than 2800 essays and reviews, and is contributing editor to Sculpture Magazine, Asian Art News, The Brooklyn Rail, and New York correspondent for Art Press (Paris). His books include Conceptual Art: An American Perspective (McFarland, 1994), Art into Ideas (Cambridge University Press, 1996), Between Modernism and Conceptual Art (McFarland, 1997), The End of the Art World (Allworth, 1998), Gary Hill (Johns Hopkins, 2000), Bruce Nauman (Johns Hopkins, 2002), Clement Greenberg: Late Writings (University of Minnesota, 2003), Vasarely (Braziller, 2004), and The Artist and Globalization (Lodz, 2008). His writings are translated into 17 languages, including Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indonesian, Serbian, Hebrew, Farsi, and Finnish.
Since 1979, Dr. Morgan has curated over 76 exhibitions in the various museums, cultural spaces, and galleries in the United States and abroad. In New York, Dr. Morgan curated “Logo Non Logo” (with Pierre Restany, Thread Waxing Space, 1994), “The Gesture: Movement in Painting and Sculpture” for Neuhoff Gallery (2002), “The Sign of Paradise” for Mike Weiss Gallery (2005), “Neutral” (2005) for the Lab Gallery, “Silent Exile” for 2 X 13 Gallery (2006), "The Optical Edge" for Pratt Manhattan Gallery (2007), and “Hong-wen Lin” for the Taipei Cultural Center (2009). In 2015, Dr. Morgan will curate “The Art of Wei Jia,” for the NanHai Gallery in Millbrae, California (February – March 2015).
Robert Morgan was the first recipient of the Arcale awarded in international art criticism in Salamanca, Spain (1999) and the first Critic-in-Residence at the Art Omi International Artists Workshop (1992) in Ghent, New York. He had been a recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities (1980, 1986, 1987), a Rockefeller/NEA grant (1988), and a Francis Greenburger Fellowship (1993). In 2005, he was awarded an Edward Albee Fellowship and a Fulbright Fellowship as a senior scholar to research “The Traditional Arts and the Korean Avant-garde” in the Republic of Korea. In 2008, he received a research grant from the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice, Italy. He has been invited to lecture at several Biennials and Art Fairs, including Gwangju (2000, 2004), Shanghai (2002 and 2012), Lodz (2004, 2006), Asian Conemporary Art Fair (2006, 2008), Tehran Sculpture Biennial, the Islamic Republic of Iran (2007), Singapore Art Fair (2008), and Istanbul Biennial (2009).
As an artist, he has shown in many solo and group exhibitions. They include the ICA, Boston (1972), The Whitney Museum of American Art (1976), Franklin Furnace, NYC (1976), Artists Space, NYC (1976, 1977), McKissick Museum, University of South Carolina (1980), White Columns (1983), Printed Matter (1984), Cologne Art Fair (1990), Antoine Candau, Paris (1990), Eric Stark Gallery (1992), Construction in Process, Lodz (1993), Nine Gallery, Gwangju (2006), Gaya-Fusion. Ubud, (Republic of Indonesia (2006), Amelia Wallace Gallery, SUNY Old Westbury (2007), Wooster Art Space (2007), Bjorn Ressle, NYC (2009), Sideshow, Brooklyn (2009), and The Lab Gallery, NYC (2009). His work has been reviewed by Art in America, The New York Times, Arforum, Art News, The Brooklyn Rail, artcritical.com, art.net, and Wolgan Misool (Korea). His works are included in several public and private collections.