DRISCOLL BABCOCK GALLERIES presents Jenny Morgan: All We Have is Now the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, and an investigation of darkly charged psychological works in intense hues. This new series of paintings present amorphous, yet graphically stark figures rendered in a richly saturated prismatic array of colors. Centered on themes of life, death, and rebirth, Morgan’s works question how we relate to our past and challenge us to live in the present.
Morgan painted the skeletal work, IN THE MOMENT (DEATH HYMN), by rendering each bone individually, without any prior plotting or planning. The end result shows not only a variety of techniques and colors, but a sense of spontaneity, freedom and immediacy. For a subject matter so deeply entrenched in death, the end result is a life affirming meditation.
In SKELETON WOMAN life and death connect in the forms of a darkened skeleton draped over the exuberant figure of a woman. While the heft of the skeleton could weigh the figure down, she balances with an almost weightless pose. For Morgan these works are about “releasing old skeletons” and being able to “look at everything in the light and realize it no longer feels so dark.”
YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE is a self-portrait of the artist with the essence of new life- a baby. Amongst the images of death, this piece brings the show full circle with a life-affirming beacon. Brutally earnest, Morgan lays bare her own concerns about motherhood, self-perception and the future.
Deeply personal, yet thoroughly universal, the works in All We Have is Now achieve a striking intensity and psychological depth, breaking through the ideals of traditional portraiture and the preciousness of realism.