Pard Morrison: The Forest at Charlotte Jackson Fine Art in Santa Fe
Despite hard metal and sharp edges, Pard Morrison’s aluminum sculptures create an effect of playfulness, of movement and animation. Standing still, they emit a keen sense of aliveness. With their brilliant colors, lively geometries and stark physicality, the metal sculptures are the result of Morrison’s conversation with nature, with his personal contemplations in the forest.
A Geometric Abstractionist, Morrison welds sheets of aluminum into box-like forms. Each color is individually hand brushed pigment fired in an oven, not unlike glazing ceramics. Every color is fired separately in order not to contaminate its neighbor so the energy of the lines and the clean color shifts create a feeling of flow and movement. The almost mathematical placement of color and form create a sense that the sculptures might be artificially fabricated but Morrison’s deliberate brush work is a clear part of the painting, adding the human touch of mark making.
The show features a collection of columns and sculptures; one small cube of colored patterns known as a “Flower,” as well as assorted wall installations and 7 free standing columns of varying sizes, one of which rises 12 feet into the air. Morrison’s dreamlike forest is the expression of his wanderings, the result of his insights into nature and wilderness. The colors are wild and explosive but the sculptures themselves are very controlled with hard edges and tight, exacting lines. He uses color “as a compositional tool which is inherently emotive.” Morrison strives for affirmative emotions, art that is uplifting and inspiring. The pieces are delightful without being naïve; playful but not frivolous.
Morrison has produced a body of work that is both intelligent and expressive. Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Nature always wears the colors of the spirit,” and Pard Morrison brings us a forest filled with jubilance and inspiration; an exhibition of barely restrained joy.