February 19 - March 19, 2022
February 19, 2022 at 1 - 5 pm
Shatto Gallery is thrilled to present Time itself., a solo exhibition of photographs by artist Michael Morris. The exhibition will feature selected works of Morris’ stays in New Mexico (USA), Italy, and Japan in the span of 2018 - 2019.
Over the years, Morris’s photographs have documented sites of his travel destinations, depicting prominent monuments and its grandeur. His recent works have shifted to focus on the indexical markers of the elemental, making the unseen, seen and deviating from the larger context of place.
Such an example is Tidewater, which Morris took while on a trip to Japan in 2019. It depicts a daringly cropped image of a road sign to the point we can neither read it for its original textual function nor recognize it as a useful symbol to direct us as a road sign should. Tidewater, however, does depict the sign as a temporal marker of time. The weathered painted metal, flickers of rust are all signs of its long existence. The new take in his approach frames visual allusions that inevitably serve as a reference point to both natural processes and landscape. Take Dimension for example. The imagery suggests a pond-like scenery filled with green algae, and an aerial view of a singled out green island. That is to say, the original source of this image is a close-up shot of rusting, enframing metallic signs, transformed at the fate of the forces of nature.
The original subject devoid in Morris’s photographs, becomes abstracted to the extent that it raises questions whether the source image is meant to convey any meaning or message in the way photography does. The trajectory of his work began with his appreciation for markers that surrendered to the passage of time, taking the recognizable structures of landmarks out of the frame. Thus, the act of isolating markers of time into its own frame emerges a new dialogue that extends to the discourse of abstract expressionism. Granted his works are in truth rendered photographs, the language, however, is borrowed from a way in which a painter makes a mark ascribing to the language of painting. The camera lens extends itself to transcend beyond the context of the image and tether into a spiritual reverie. While the resulting image dwells in abstraction, the artist rewards spectators who commit to viewership with evidence of conditions that bear past, present and the future. Time itself. will be on view from February 19 to March 19, 2022.
Michael Morris lives between Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA and Umbria, Italy. He is represented by Filarete Art Studio in Empoli (Florence), Italy and is associated with Shatto Gallery in Los Angeles, California. Prior to his career in technology he studied photography at Stephen F. Austin State University and currently is part of a group of Italian and American artists in both countries.