The most compelling aspect of Kathleen Morris's paintings is the way they plumb the emotional depths, which is inseparable from their sensual beauty. The convergence of spirituality and sensuality-sensualized spirituality, spiritualized sensuality-that is the mystery Morris's paintings evoke. ...
...They do so in part through their surface-dense, heavily varnished, holding light in their enigmatic depths, in a manner worthy of the old masters-and in part through their rendering of the human self-image, as it has been called. Indeed, her faces suggest simultaneously the heights of consciousness to which the human spirit can rise and the depths of suffering to which it can sink. Her fantasies- dream pictures-convey the strangeness and horror of being human, particularly a woman.
Many of her women seem on the verge of going mad, as though their own beauty and desirability had distracted them from the possibilities of identity, and the few men she depicts seem like lost souls. Yet the rich atmosphere of each work seems to place the figure on a higher plane of existence, redeeming it. Both an allegorical presence and an individual in a particular mood, it becomes transcendental by virtue of the atmospheric space in which it is located.
“Oil paint has been the consistent medium in my paintings, as it tends to be very visceral and a lot about the paint. Most recently I have included wax. The work is almost exclusively figurative, although I don't work from models. It is important for my process to be able to change and move with the figures through time and space, as the painting dictates. The paintings represent a deep resolve of mine to pare back to the core of being; to get lost in it, to share it, to not care where I am going with it, and to give myself over to the bigger than me of it. In painting one is able to explore, the medium is malleable, the history of thought and the battle that go in to the work are sometimes visible on the surface. The work is like a journey, every single painting.”
Kathleen Morris was born in 1946 in Oklahoma and lives and works in New Mexico.
Charles Raymond Collection
Continental Savings and Loan
Crosby and Crosby Collection
Cushman Realty Corporation
Danny DeVito / Rhea Perlman Collection
David Justice Collection
Day, Berry and Howard Williams Center
Emmett Bondurant / Jane Fahey
Halle Berry Collection
John Weeks Collection
Ron and Felice Sharp Collection
Sandy Wade Company
Stan Milton Collection
Steve and Vicky Morris
Todd Murphy Collection