On View: November 6 – December 4, 2021
Michael Booker’s dynamic, self-reflective tableaus mediate upon vulnerability and resilience amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and social injustice
Morton Fine Art is pleased to present Veil, a solo presentation of new works on paper by artist Michael Booker, on view from November 6 – December 4, 2021. Rendered on paper and Yupo, Booker’s latest body of work depicts surreal scenes evocative of the artist’s psychological journey through tumult and towards inner peace.
In Booker’s compositions, portraits are partially shielded by swaths of color, and views are intercepted by lush organic forms. Joining geometric designs with figuration, Booker’s large-scale drawings are rich in dynamism and detail, the artist acting as a conductor of a broad symphony of colors and tones. Owing to the drawing practice itself as a healing mechanism, Veil documents the emotional terrains crossed by the artist amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and concurrent instances of social injustice. The exhibition’s title gestures towards the strategies of emotional self-protection harnessed by the artist during periods of vulnerability and contemplation, barriers made visible in the layered effects captured by the drawings themselves.
Despite the complexity of Booker’s compositions, each line and brushstroke remains visible, the artist using a wide range of materials and instruments, including fineliner pen, colored pencil, watercolor, and alcohol ink. Booker’s mastery of his tools is evidenced by his ability to create dense fields of light, shadow, and texture through the careful application of fine lines, resulting in superimposed tableaus reminiscent of collage or digital manipulation. Reverberating with the work’s themes, the meticulous process by which such depth and emotion is rendered echoes the strained experiences of self-reflection, growth, and reconciliation experienced by the artist during the course of these drawings’ creations.
“This exhibition chronicles a personal and emotional journey caused by the effects of a prolonged pandemic and moments of social injustice,” said artist Michael Booker. “Volatile social interactions became commonplace in both media and amongst friends. Over time, a realization of resiliency set in, as these drawings became a form of cathartic therapy to search for a nuanced visual reflection of the turmoil that lingered within.”
Though invested with fraught emotions, the cohesion and harmony of the resulting works ultimately foreground hope and optimism. Capturing individuals immersed in solitary contemplation as well as in embrace, Booker’s drawings suggest resilience and reconciliation amidst societal and interpersonal volatility, demonstrating a multiplicity of pathways toward new light.
About MICHAEL BOOKER
Michael Booker is a mixed media artist originally from Jackson, Mississippi who currently resides in Maryland. He received his BFA in Studio Art – Painting from Mississippi State University in 2008, and received his MFA in Studio Art from University of Maryland in 2012. He has exhibited in various galleries across Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Maine, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. His work has been acquired by the David C. Driskell Center in College Park, MD.
He is an Assistant Professor of Art at Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring.
Booker has been represented by Morton Fine Art in Washington, D.C. since 2019.
About Morton Fine Art
Founded in 2010 in Washington, DC by curator Amy Morton, Morton Fine Art (MFA) is a fine art gallery and curatorial group that collaborates with art collectors and visual artists to inspire fresh ways of acquiring contemporary art. Firmly committed to the belief that art collecting can be cultivated through an educational stance, MFA’s mission is to provide accessibility to museum- quality contemporary art through a combination of substantive exhibitions and a welcoming platform for dialogue and exchange of original voice. Morton Fine Art specializes in a stellar roster of nationally and internationally renowned artists as well as has an additional focus on artwork of the African Diaspora.
Morton Fine Art founded the trademark *a pop-up project in 2010. *a pop-up project is MFA’s mobile gallery component which hosts temporary curated exhibitions nationally.
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