David Morrison: Nature's Ephemera

15 Nov 2018 – 22 Dec 2018

Event times

Tuesday - Saturday, 11am-6pm

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New York
New York, United States

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Nature’s Ephemera features Morrison's realist colored pencil drawings of the specters of the natural world.  Morrison toggles seamlessly between realism and abstraction, creating highly complex compositions from his observation of branches, leaves, and abandoned animal habitats.


David Morrison established his first national reputation as a printmaker; now he’s building a second national reputation as an astonishing realist within the venerable art of drawing. For his fourth solo exhibition at Garvey|Simon, entitled Nature’s Ephemera, the artist offers visions of the natural world - an array of found sticks, logs for firewood, and wasp nests, found on walks in the semi-rural areas that surround Morrison’s house in central Indiana.

One of the commandments of creative writing is “write what you know.” In the case of David Morrison, the maxim transmutes as: draw what you know. Drawing becomes a deeper form of knowing, as knowing flows from a deeper form of looking. Morrison possesses a rare gift for assessing the visual surface and texture of reality. He shares his gift with us, the viewers of his drawings, and in our experience with his art we witness the intensity of his creative process. Controlling layers of translucent marks made by prismacolor pencils - hour after hour after hour - Morrison produces a dense network of colors on a sheet of paper that slowly, magically, becomes a portion of the world transformed into a work of art. In one drawing we see, in breathtaking detail, how moss covers a tree limb, right above where the bark has started to peel open. In another drawing, we stare into the myriad skeins of regurgitated wasp meal that congeal into a nest. His drawings trigger our perceptions refreshed by uncanny clarity: We see so deeply, it is as if we see seeing itself.

David Morrison was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1956. He received his MFA in Printmaking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985. A visiting lecturer and guest artist at numerous universities, he is very involved in the world of printmaking, specifically stone lithography, and he is the Professor of Printmaking at Indiana University’s Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis.

Morrison has exhibited widely, and his work is included in numerous public collections including The Whitney Museum of American Art, The New-York Historical Society, The National Gallery of Art, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Arkansas Arts Center, and the Portland Museum of Art, to name a few. This is his third solo show in New York, and his fourth solo show with Garvey|Simon.

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Elizabeth Garvey

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David Morrison

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