Kristen Morgin: My Love Must Be a Kind of Blind Love | Tom Knechtel: The Hare in the Studio
9953 South Santa Monica Boulevard Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Saturday, April 27 at 5:00 PM 7:00 PM
Ends Jun 1, 2024
Marc Selwyn Fine Art is pleased to present a selection of recent works on paper by acclaimed Los Angeles based artist Kristen Morgin. Best known for her unique and masterful work in unfired clay, Morgin’s practice has incorporated a wide and unconventional mix of materials including ceramic, cement, paint, wood and found objects, often involving drawing on a clay surface. In this exhibition, Morgin’s drawings on paper, which had previously been a more private part of her practice, are larger in scale and publicly exhibited for the first time, unaccompanied by sculpture and treated as important works in their own right. As the artist describes, “During the pandemic when shows were being cancelled, I turned inward and felt the freedom to work in drawing which was often inspired by poetry or the lyrics of a song I was listening to. My mind was allowed to wander freely in multiple directions.” Stream of conscious narratives and dreamlike scenarios incorporate multiple collaged and taped elements which reflect Morgin’s peripatetic thought process. In The Puppet and the Whale, a Pinocchio hand puppet rests above a large Killer Whale floating in space. In Vanishing Wild Things, Pitfall Harry runs though a forest scene from Maurice Sendak’s iconic children’s story. In some cases, unwanted images have been cut out and replaced with new ones. The cobbled together nature of the work also evokes a nostalgia for childhood craft, while Morgin’s eclectic mix of past and present invites the viewer to travel through time. Morgin draws on a wide variety of source material ranging from precise renderings of scientific images, children’s book illustrations, puppetry, and folk art, always mixing high and low culture with an eye towards eliminating traditional hierarchies. Morgin was born in 1968 in Brunswick, Georgia. She completed her BA at California State University, Hayward, and her MFA at Alfred University. Morgin’s work is in the permanent collections of institutions such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Hammer Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, and The Rubell Family Collection. Her work has been included in exhibitions such as The Thing (Hammer Museum, Los Angeles), Monumental (New Museum, New York) and the Istanbul Biennial, curated by Jens Hoffman. She lives and works in Los Angeles. - Marc Selwyn Fine Art is pleased to present a selection of recently completed works on paper by acclaimed Los Angeles based artist Tom Knechtel. Known for his complex allegorical narratives, Knechtel has often employed a cast of human and animal characters to draw parallels between man and beast. This exhibition focuses on the hare and its relationship to the artist, its human counterpart and sometime alter ego. The hare, as with other animals in Knechtel’s oeuvre, is an enigmatic and malleable vessel of meaning. Hares, which live alone or in pairs, are full of suggestiveness and possibilities as actors on Knechtel’s “stages”. In this series of somewhat autobiographical drawings, the hare might inhabit the artist’s studio populated by images of the artist’s past work, loves, and obsessions. In other works, the hare, with its wild eyes and elongated snout, appears alone in the woods or simply staring forth from an otherwise blank page. Knechtel has utilized a myriad of materials including pastel, graphite, ink, drypoint, and silverpoint to shift the meaning and texture of his images. In the case of the silverpoints, a medium favored during the Renaissance in which a silver stylus makes precise marks on prepared paper, images appear as simultaneously concise and at a distance, due to the delicate tonality and exactitude of the marks. This medium seems appropriate for images of the artist’s past as we remember our past in fleeting details. In some drawings, images are broken up among several pieces of paper which act as a doorway into the studio or as a multipart narrative arching over the artist’s head. Tom Knechtel was born in Palo Alto, California. In 2002 he had a 25-year retrospective entitled On Wanting to Grow Horns, which opened at the Weatherspoon Art Gallery in North Carolina before traveling to the Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, The Contemporary Art Museum, Honolulu, and the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle. In 2023, PPOW Gallery in New York presented a solo show of Knechtel's work, Drawn After Life. He has had other solo exhibitions at Grant Selwyn Fine Art, the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum and Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles. Knechtel has been included in numerous group exhibitions at venues including The Drawing Center, New York, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut, Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. His work is in the permanent collections of The Berardo Collection, Sintra Museum of Modern Art, Portugal, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Orange County Museum of Art and The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu. This marks the artist’s fifth presentation with the gallery.