Skip to content

REBECCA MORGAN

Town and Country

September 12 - October 19, 2019

Rebecca Morgan, Boring Cunnilingus, 2019

Rebecca Morgan

Boring Cunnilingus, 2019

Oil and graphite on panel

22h x 28w in
55.88h x 71.12w cm

RM064

Rebecca Morgan, You Can Have It All, 2019

Rebecca Morgan

You Can Have It All, 2019

Oil and graphite on panel

26h x 24w in
66.04h x 60.96w cm

RM062

Rebecca Morgan, Self-Portrait Painting a Sluggin', 2019

Rebecca Morgan

Self-Portrait Painting a Sluggin', 2019

Watercolor on paper

22h x 30w in
55.88h x 76.20w cm

RM282-wop

Rebecca Morgan, Champion Pie Eater, 2019

Rebecca Morgan

Champion Pie Eater, 2019

Oil on linen

14h x 11w in
35.56h x 27.94w cm

RM066

Rebecca Morgan, Roman Charity, 2019

Rebecca Morgan

Roman Charity, 2019

Oil and graphite on panel

30h x 24w in
76.20h x 60.96w cm

RM063

Rebecca Morgan, Predator Swing, 2019

Rebecca Morgan

Predator Swing, 2019

Oil on linen

20h x 16w in
50.80h x 40.64w cm

RM065

Rebecca Morgan, Sad Crying Man, 2018

Rebecca Morgan

Sad Crying Man, 2018

Gouache on paper

30h x 22w in
76.20h x 55.88w cm

RM271-wop

Rebecca Morgan, Panty Stealers (After Diana and Actaeon), 2019

Rebecca Morgan

Panty Stealers (After Diana and Actaeon), 2019

Graphite on paper

Image: 71h x 64w in

RM284-wop

Rebecca Morgan, Big Girl from Texas, 2019

Rebecca Morgan

Big Girl from Texas, 2019

Etching

Paper: 36.5 x 25.5 in
Plate: 30.5 x 20.75 in

Edition of 13 + 10AP

RM002-pr

Rebecca Morgan, Untitled, 2018

Rebecca Morgan

Untitled, 2018

Brass

18.50h x 14w x 3.50d in
46.99h x 35.56w x 8.89d cm

RM011-scu

Rebecca Morgan, Small Winkie White Man, 2018

Rebecca Morgan

Small Winkie White Man, 2018

Brass

13.50h x 6.50w x 5d in
34.29h x 16.51w x 12.70d cm

RM005-scu

Rebecca Morgan, Good Wisconsin Girl with Scrunchie, 2018

Rebecca Morgan

Good Wisconsin Girl with Scrunchie, 2018

Brass

15.50h x 9.50w x 7.75d in
39.37h x 24.13w x 19.69d cm

RM006-scu

Press Release

Asya Geisberg Gallery is proud to present Rebecca Morgan: "Town and Country". The artist's fourth solo exhibition with the gallery shows the extent of Morgan's achievement in painting, with forays into printmaking and brass sculpture, new endeavors for the artist. With archly symbolic portraits and complex scenes, Morgan weaves a grand narrative of gendered subversion buttressed by broader societal scale. Morgan's characters straddle both the timelessness of morality tales, and the specific moment that we find ourselves in - redefining gender relations and reviewing historical representations in works from John Hughes movies, to stylized exemplars like Rubens and Fragonard, to Norman Rockwell's foundational Americana lore. While always emanating from a contemporary socio-political yet diaristic lens, Morgan's works now chart a wider continuum of referents. Archetypal characters strain against their roles, undermine fabricated notions of romance, and confront the hollowness and fear behind current masculinity, with both levity and tension.

A potent example is the painting "Roman Charity", which refers to a classical art-historical image of a starving old man who is revived by his daughter nursing him. Morgan uses this as a metaphor for the thankless female labor that only now is being named and recognized. The painting is a baroque collection of orbs and swirls - a cartoonish blue bow atop the maiden's head echoes the father's rhythmic chest hair and eyebrows, and its color is picked up in the anachronistic nails. Nipples, pearls, cheeks and eyeballs all have an exaggerated roundness as even a nose resembles the swishes of a ski piste. Its clarion call is made more timeless, blunt, and sugary with Morgan's painterly profusions.

With another classical reference, Morgan's 9-foot hyper-detailed pencil drawing "Panty Stealers (After Diana and Actaeon)" updates the Greek myth of the hunter Actaeon, who encounters Diana and her handmaidens bathing nude. Angered at being observed, Diana turns him into a stag and his own dogs kill him. Morgan updates the innocence of Norman Rockwell's "No Swimming" with a classical bathing scene, but twists the gaze, narrative power, and subjectivity on its head, as the man depicted is deviant, primal, and outrageous, while the bathers are idealized self-portraits. Instead of a romanticized illustration of courtship or innocent hi-jinks, we see an act of violation, met with anger and disgust. Again, Morgan's exquisite rendering and the drawing's confrontational scale both engages and repels the viewer.

Morgan deftly cloaks her critique by elevating it with heroic material or style, or espousing a genuine sympathy for the foundations, real and imagined, of entitled male identity. In the brass bust "Small Winkle White Man", the titular torso shows a man with a one-toothed grin and wide-open eyes reminiscent of Morgan's work with ceramic face jugs, indicating an unselfconscious innocence that belies his minimal manhood. Without a hint of revenge, Morgan depicts masculinity in confusion or disrepair, both historically and perhaps in a future where women take back the reins. Another grinning male's face is covered in dripping red, in the small portrait "Champion Pie Eater" - a garish joke, sexual innuendo, or horror movie poster. A corn-fed boy worthy of Franz Hals becomes a stylized parody, akin to the movie "American Psycho".

With a wink to masters of the cloying feminine/masculine symbiosis such as Boucher, as well as legions of female nudes painted over the ages, Morgan's collection of buxom ladies and balding men are a candid archive of the myth of America's golden past, what it projects and whose voice it excludes. In her feverish imagination, we instantly recognize the familiarity that her sophisticated works make use of, and yet each work causes us to question how we could have swallowed these cultural images whole without complaint for so long.