Colour, space, form and what it means to paint: introducing artist Morgan Ward


“I remember distinctly hearing a phrase in a lecture that has always stuck with my practice: ‘Don’t create work that gives answers, create work that asks questions,’” says artist Morgan Ward. “I always hope that people who view my work ask questions about its creation, context and ideologies.” The university of Chichester graduate has a portfolio of abstract works that explore colour and space in a bombastic manner. Each work is the product of a “continual battle into one’s personal development.

“I cant deny that I’ve had some up’s and down’s when tackling problems but without them I wouldn’t be where I am now with a body of work I can say is resolved to a certain extent,” explains Morgan. “However, I now have heap of investigating that I need to do in reflection to my most recent work. It’s this constant act and react that informs my next piece, communicating, listening and responding from painting to painting.”

Morgan’s work thrives in its ambiguity. The eye is forced to dance across the canvas and take in a controlled riot of colour, texture, layering and mark making. There is depth and flatness, control and chaos. At once the images are self contained, but the lack of scale implies a limitless. An impossibility that only abstraction can come close to communicating.

“I have always retained an interest in the concept of the painting’s picture plane, and significantly, how this can be manipulated,” explains Morgan. “In my practice I aim to investigate the relationships between colour and the interaction of forms. The paintings raise the visual question on how one might choose to fill the space of a canvas to create work which is both painting and object, and what extent the art of painting is self-referential and driven by a visual dialogue and internal logic. A key aspect of the painting is the expansion of space, both physical reality and as an optical field of abstract illusion.”

Over the course of three ‘thoroughly enjoyable” years studying fine art, Morgan’s work has undergone a period of refinement. “My work has seen drastic change over the three years at university but I have always kept to a constant theme of research into how a canvas can be filled as an object of illusion, as after all a painting is a 2 dimensional plane depicting a tree dimensional space,” he says.

“I am still looking at how paintings inform themselves and other painting that co-exists in the space that they inhabit. Always thinking of the painting as an object in space and giving value to the 2inch stretcher width that created the void between the wall and the canvas plane.”

Supported by A/D/O

Founded by MINI, A/D/O is a creative space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn dedicated to exploring new boundaries in design. At its heart is the Design Academy, which offers a range of programming to professional designers, intended to provoke and invigorate their creative practice.

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About the Author

Owen Pritchard

Owen joined It’s Nice That as Editor in November of 2015 leading and overseeing all editorial content across online, print and the events programme, before leaving in early 2018.

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