Andrew Morrow,  Oaring Boughs, Oil on prepared cotton paper, 23 X 30 inches, 2017

Andrew Morrow,  Oaring Boughs, Oil on prepared cotton paper, 23 X 30 inches, 2017

ANDREW MORROW, MFA '09, Ten Small Paintings, Solo Exhibition at Patrick Mikhail Gallery

February 18 – March 25, 2017

PATRICK MIKHAIL GALLERY in Montréal is pleased to present an installation of new works by Québec artist ANDREW MORROW. The exhibition, entitled TEN PAINTINGS SMALL, incorporates new paintings on paper and furthers Morrow’s exploration of a fragmented and expanded language of history painting after Modernism.

Referencing a wide range of history painting and early photography, Morrow’s current paintings present a deconstruction of pictorial strategies from realist painting and narrative histories. Painted as a counterpoint to an ongoing large-scale public art project, TEN PAINTINGS SMALL features ten small oil paintings on paper. In contrast to the incumbencies and constraints associated with public art, these paintings are straightforward and inward-looking, concerned primarily with painterly issues, almost willfully blind to the sociopolitical complexities underlying their source material. Developed from fragments of history painting and 19th century photography, these new works maintain a conscious detachment from originating contexts and meanings, subsuming source materials to formalist painting concerns, such as scale, composition, and space. Additionally, through the reduction of source material to familiar archetypes from history and genre painting—the nude, the worker, the land, the soldier, the artist—figures are apprehended from photographic history and re-assigned to the service of painting. In this exhibition, Morrow re-states the belief that in all things painting, painting comes first.

Morrow’s professional practice is characterized by a desire to both inhabit and extend historical, narrative painting. His work fluctuates between narrative and self-reference, lucidity and indeterminacy, ambition and constraint. Extending from personal, actual, and invented histories, the paintings engage broad, historical themes such as war, eroticism, beauty, the apocalypse, and death, complicating these through a resistance to narrative closure and spatial coherence. In the artist’s work, fragmented and archetypal figures populate shifting, uncertain landscapes—approaching, but never quite attaining, the sublime. Morrow redresses our historical landscape, inviting us to re-evaluate our own cultural self-image.

Morrow holds a BFA from Queen’s University and an MFA from the University of Ottawa where he was awarded the 2009 Michel Goulet Prize for outstanding thesis presentation. He was a finalist in the 2004 RBC Canadian Painting Competition, and the 2007 Toronto Arts Council Emerging Artist Award. He is the recipient of the 2011 RBC Emerging Artist Award.  He was awarded the 2010 W.B. Bruce European Travel Award, the 2013 DAÏMÔN Residency, and the 2015 Can Serrat Residency Support Stipend. Morrow’s work can be found in the collections of the Canada Council Art Bank, City of Ottawa Art Collection, Kingston City Hall, Desjardins Group in Montréal, Herjavec Group in Toronto, and St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco, in addition to numerous private international collections. Morrow has exhibited both nationally and internationally, including solo and group exhibitions at: Art Toronto; Papier Art Fair; Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa); Saw Gallery (Ottawa); Mississauga Art Gallery; Sudbury Art Gallery; New Brunswick Museum; Edmonton Art Gallery; Ottawa City Hall Art Gallery, and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (Toronto). Morrow is on the Board of Directors of the Ottawa Arts Council, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Visual Arts Department at the University of Ottawa.  The artist lives and works in Chelsea, Québec.