TIO NYC: Jenny Morgan, Solo Show Opens This Week

Jenny Morgan, "You To Me"

TIO NYC: Jenny Morgan, Solo Show Opens This Week

Jenny Morgan, "You To Me"

Jenny Morgan, “You To Me”

“Having been interested in painting the figure for most of my artistic life, I hope to create an emotional response in each piece. Inventing new ways of looking at our oldest and most classic subject matter is always a goal, but most of all making paintings that visually examine the complexity of human relationships.” –  Jenny Morgan, 2002

Early in 18th-century America, portrait painters were generally considered tradesmen who made effigies, not great artists. Then along came Chase, Copley, Eakins, Hartley, C.W. Peale, Rembrandt Peale, Sargent and Stuart. Later Chuck Close, Alex Katz and Warhol burnished their reputations in the field. But Close, Katz and Warhol, especially Warhol, tended to be social portraitists. It was almost as if Warhol was after the immediate visibility and popularity “real” stars (think Liz Taylor , Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, Mao and more) already had. He social climbed from face to face.

Jenny Morgan is a whole other story.

Jenny is a cutting edge portrait artist who eschews, even blurs surface appearance, pushing below to reveal the underlying psychology of her subjects, everyday people, even herself. The work carries a potent emotional charge. We first encountered her work, then Jenny herself, at Ivar Zeile’s PLUS Gallery in its original location on Denver’s Lawrence Street. (PLUS is now located at 2501 Larimer and widely considered the city’s edgiest contemporary gallery.) We own one of her earliest works, a self-portrait Jenny painted as a young art student. Since then, she has come a long, long way and is now on the threshold of being recognized as one of the most important portraitists of the 21st century.

On Thursday, October 17, 6 – 8 p.m., Driscoll Babcock Galleries, 525 West 25th Street – the oldest gallery in New York, in fact in the nation, founded in 1852, always with a focus on American art – presents “Jenny Morgan: How to Find a Ghost.”

Morgan_BooksIn this new body of work, Jenny pushes her transcendent figuratives to a larger scale, the pure magnitude of which amplifies the face behind the faces. In fact, blurred features, sanded outlines, and unique coloration, techniques which “mess-up” the realist compositions she painstakingly creates, push the portraits towards a revelatory kind of abstraction. In all of Jenny’s work, figures seem to hover between the subconscious and the conscious, revealing something of themselves, while physically representing others.

Since 2012, Jenny Morgan has been exclusively represented by Driscoll Babcock Galleries. Her work, however, has been exhibited nationwide and internationally in solo exhibitions at galleries in Brooklyn, NY and Denver, Colorado and in numerous group exhibitions including at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, in Washington, D.C., 92Y Tribeca and the Le Roy Neiman Gallery at Columbia University, both in New York, NY, and at galleries in Orlando, Florida, London, England, and Falun, Sweden. Additionally, Jenny has realized several portraiture commissions for the likes of The New York Times magazine (of Julian Assange of WikiLeaks for one) and New York magazine. Her paintings are held in major private collections throughout the United States.

Born in Salt Lake City, UT, Jenny Morgan currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.  She holds a BA from the Rocky Mountain College School of Design in Lakewood, CO and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, NY.

For further information, go to the website or call 212-767-1852.

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