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Morgan Blair: TL;DR

Morgan Blair (b. 1986 Massachusetts) exhibits seven new acrylic paintings; her largest yet, whether landscape orientation jumbos or her recurring, tondo-shaped canvas guys. Why should we care? Her paintings are amazing and innovative, they look like nothing else—really!—they feel fresh on your eyeballs. Ok, what do the works look like?

Airbrush and sand are the main ingredients; the sprayed paint allowing for gradients everywhere, allowing blurred out static-y backgrounds and tight palette control. The sand makes for tasty texture balls and a Peter Halley-esque emphasis on surface and precision. What are these colors? Unnatural, off-kilter color groups that beg for titles like “sour watermelon” keep the paint within a tight five, or a pared down dozen max.

But what are they about? Many are inspired by a Claymation pig video by BramGroatFilms —google it—and others are more cinematically cropped moments; a guy checking his cell phone, some crap spilling on the bathroom floor, tea time. Perhaps the Claymation is just the right about of 3D-rendering needed for her to shape the source material into gradient-filled quadrants, perhaps it was just wiggly and weird. She also uses blurry YouTube tutorials or Craigslist free stuff photos; I think the salient point is random internet junk inspo.

Still reading?? If so, you will learn that the paintings have insanely crazy long titles, a paragraph of word jazz each. They read like remixed spam subject lines, You Wont Believe What Happens Next! Watch Till the End! They give the abstracted paintings something for viewers to search for—clickbait!—but probably more accurately reveal the artist blowing off some pent-up precise-painting steam, do you know how often airbrushes clog? Infuriating.

Cutting to the chase: a show for “recovering postmodernists”. Blair’s works can be interpreted as a millennial neo-Dada recovery of meaning from a jaded anything-goes Gen X sensibility. Randomness, millenials found, is not an abyss but rather very useful; all our computer systems need it to function, and it’s very hard to generate. As nothing too long gets read anymore, this may not be the best part for me to type: we should look closely at the relationship between randomness and the absurd in our cultural moment!

exhibit page