June 4, 2021
Aug. 18–Oct. 8, 2021
The Philadelphia Art Alliance of the University of the Arts is pleased to present the first Philadelphia exhibition of works by Nyeema Morgan.
Nyeema Morgan’s meticulous drawings, sculptures, and installations employ non-identical repetition and unexpected juxtaposition to prompt reflection on the mechanics of representation and its political/social underpinnings and consequences. For the series “Like It Is,” Morgan begins by pulling texts from the library containing the word “extraordinary” in their titles. Upon finding a book cover page presenting significant connotative and typographic interest, Morgan Xeroxes it in various positions. These replications serve as references for 50 by 38-inch graphite drawings that also incorporate incidental traces of the studio environment (shadows of the artist’s shoulder, a lamp, etc.). They are then later used as collage source material. Through manipulation and translation, Morgan correlates the speed of making and the intensity of reading, looking, and thinking; a formal strategy which troubles “ordinary” relationships between image and text (language and vision) while questioning how language mediates experience and how such mediation can be represented visually. The resulting drawings are a tour de force consideration on the use and abuse of categories and sets, of the arbitrary violence of delineating the ordinary from the extraordinary. The viewer must specifically situate herself and recognize their complicity within cultural legacy and transmission.
Born in 1977 in Philadelphia, Nyeema Morgan studied at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, earned a B.F.A. from the Cooper Union School of Art, New York in 2000 and an M.F.A. from the California College of the Arts, San Francisco in 2007. She currently lives and works in Chicago.
Morgan’s solo exhibitions include the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, CO; Grant Wahlquist Gallery, Portland, ME; The Bindery Projects, St. Paul, MN; the Rotunda Gallery/BRIC Arts Media Bklyn, Brooklyn, NY; and Staniar Gallery at Washington & Lee University, Lexington, VA. Her work has been shown in group exhibitions at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME; the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; The Drawing Center, NY; the Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; and Galerie Jeanroch Dard, Paris, FR.
Morgan’s work is in the collections of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, ME, and the Menil Collection, Houston, TX (in collaboration with William Cordova and Otabenga Jones and Associates). She has participated in residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME; Shandaken Projects at Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, NY; the Lower East Side Print Shop, NY; The Drawing Center, NY; and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Program, NY. She is a recipient of a Painters and Sculptors grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and an Art Matters grant.
Morgan has lectured at University of Maine, Orono, ME; School of the Art Institute Chicago, Chicago, IL; Gallery 400, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH; Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY; Washington & Lee University, Lexington, VA; The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; New York University, NY; and Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.
Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal among other publications.
Our exhibitions are free and open to the public.
Philadelphia Art Alliance at University of the Arts
251 S 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103