JIM MORPHESIS "Wounds of Existence"

February 24, 2015 11:37 PM

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The word "baroque" kept returning to my mind as I walked through the exhibition "Jim Morphesis: Wounds of Existence" at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. In part, it's the sheer, intense, sometimes massively over-the-top materiality of many of these "paintings," with their surfaces of nailed broken planks that might have been rescued from a demolition site, or the ooze of concrete and magna (acrylic resin paint), the sparkle and gold and glitter. In part, it's the purposefully broken quality of composition, line and texture. In part the physically explicit passion for the fleshy human body, both male and female...

... in part the obsession with entropy and death; in part the emotional energy that reaches out from the surface of these artworks and grabs the viewer with its peculiar intensity.

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