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Conner Contemporary Art Features Prominent Painter Morris Louis '32, Sept. 17–Oct. 31

'Conversations in Lyrical Abstraction: 1958-2009' exhibits abstract images by American artists

Posted 09.02.09 by MICA Media Relations

Morris Louis, Plenitude

WASHINGTON-Conversations in Lyrical Abstraction: 1958-2009 elicits visual conversations among work by Morris Louis '32, Alma Thomas, Howard Mehring, Jeremy Blake and Leo Villareal, Sept. 17 - Oct. 31, at Conner Contemporary Art, 1358 Florida Avenue, NE. Breathing luminous color and varying in media from stain paintings to digitally controlled light emitting diodes, this select gathering of abstract images showcases Lyrical Abstraction as a vital impetus in American art. An opening night reception takes place Thursday, Sept. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. Gallery hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

This is the first time a painting by Louis has been exhibited in a privately-owned gallery in Washington since the 1950s. The gallery presents Louis' veil painting, Plenitude (1958), in conjunction with a field painting by Alma Thomas, early all-over canvases by Howard Mehring, Jeremy Blake's video, Mod Lang, and Leo Villareal's most recent digital light sculpture, Sky.

Conversations in Lyrical Abstraction crosses boundaries of race, gender, geography and chronology to reveal complementary visual effects among the works of diverse artists. The exhibition highlights conceptual parallels and methodological adjustments between the groundbreaking developments of mid-20th-century and recent innovations in Color Field picturing. This selection of works underscores historical patterns of artistic exchange, experimentation, appropriation and critique, as well as attests that artists in Washington and New York have shared a creative dynamic over several generations.

This exhibition is undertaken in cooperation with The Estate of Morris Louis, represented exclusively by Diane Upright Fine Arts, LLC, The Estate of Vincent Melzac and Mrs. Sheila Melzac, Kinz Tillou Fine Art and The Jeremy Blake Estate.

For more information about the exhibition, visit http://www.connercontemporary.com/.

For more information about MICA alumni, call 410-225-2300.

Image caption: Morris Louis '32, Plenitude, acrylic resin on canvas, 1958, (c)1993 Marcella Louis Brenner.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 65 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. Redefining art and design education, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.