“Collections” Greg Mort 1993 by Richard Wayne Grabisch |
Greg Mort’s paintings are a journey into the realms of the large and the small, the infinite and the infinitesimal. Traveling through his compositions the viewer comes face to face wit the basic but mysterious harmonies of beauty itself. This is the artist’s quest and with each visual sampling of quietude or turbulence we are exposed to an almost overpowering feeling of intimacy. The figure balancing tenuously atop a voluptuous boulder in Fisherman provokes an uneasy tension in the viewer. In contrast Mort will sweep the gentle flow of a ribbon or wave past our eyes but what it touches is our hearts. We find our soul at rest. One cannot help but be drawn into the contemplations of our place in space and time.
Mort’s paintings display his striking technical skill and envious dexterity which unquestionably allies him with the classical masters of the past and present. Yet Greg Mort understands that this talent is only a vehicle on the road of expression and imagination. Draftsmanship is but one of many cornerstones of this artist’s work. This objects he renders embody a unique sensitivity evoking emotion and contemplation. Like the masters Harnett and Cornell he makes static objects spring to life with their own personalities awakening before us. However, Mort often playfully challenges us as in Nine Planets to inspect and dissect a menagerie of his personal possessions and locate images or symbols representing our celestial sisters.
Mort’s visions force us to sense the Beyond. In Collection in White we are captivated by the contrast between the arrangement of the meticulously delicate lace work and free flowing tumble of shells. The artist reveals to us here that nature often speaks in repeated patterns as old as the cosmos itself. The interworkings are in stark contrast to the back he provides. A penetrating blackness that suggests…..forever. He is able to collapse the differences between near and far. Mort wants the viewer to share his awareness of the deep bond that all things and people have to one another.
Venturing into a Mort Landscape we enter a world of light and shadow. Drama and passion dominate this aspect of the artist’s work. We marvel at his use of abstract forms, color and amazingly textured surfaces. The painting Night Watch brings forth the mystery of the night the artist loves so well. Land and figure are bound together here becoming one. This is also a skyscape. The myriad of stars above remind us of our pursuit of knowledge. We become witness to this intrinsic but universal moment. The subject is in a very real sense, all of us.
It is important that each artist’s work articulate his or hew own place in time. Though there are connections with the past, a painter of today must survey a different universe than one of another century. Mort’s unmistakably contemporary themes speak boldly of this significant understanding. His work goes beyond association with any school or genre. Instead he offers us sojourns into new territory. This artist’s paintings reflect a legacy which includes the exploration of the interiors of atoms and man’s first footstep on the moon. Greg Mort’s art is clearly a product of our time, our space. by Richard Wayne Grabisch GREG MORT COLLECTIONS
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