Aaron Morse: Mineral Mythology

6516 North Figueroa St, Unit A, Los Angeles CA, 90042
Nov 06, 4 PM - 8 PM — ends Jan 09, 2022
Mineral Mythology is Aaron Morse’s twelfth solo show of paintings in Los Angeles, and continues the artist's adventurous exploration of color, surface, and pictorial reference through uncanny landscapes. Survival and growth amidst decay, ecological complexity, simultaneous action, and painterly time are his themes. The paintings are composed and worked out in dense collages, inlaid with obscure digital fragments sourced from old comics, scientific illustrations, advertising ephemera, historical prints and photographs. The artist further develops his collage-work with a variety of techniques in acrylic and oil, the former allowing for quick layering and inventive revisions.

Minerals and myths are the subjects and materials of Morse’s works. While paint is literally made of ground minerals, earthly elements also inspire metaphor and mythmaking, from Classical Golden Fleece fantasies to American strike-it-rich tall tales. Some of the pictures in the show may seem familiar, such as a dragon stalked by a hunter in a leafy ruin; others less so, like Lord Byron’s Mazeppa bound to a doomed horse. Are myths something archetypal within us, or do they emerge as people assign meaning to nature’s forms, which may or may not exist? Wondrous gems and precious metals are shaped by the fantastic pressure and heat of geology, or sometimes by quiet and steady accretions in a cool, dark cave. Like a pearl in an oyster, the mysterious processes of our collective story builds, one invisible, iridescent layer at a time.