November 7, 2015 - November 28, 2015.
Closing Reception : Saturday, November 28, 2015. 6pm-Midnight
934 Cleveland Ave., Columbus, OH 43201
This exhibition is free and open to the public.
The vital energy of the human form is distilled to its purest essence in an exhibition of paintings by Jim Morton and photographs by Will Shively entitled NUDES. This exhibition provides a rare opportunity to experience the artwork of two of Columbus' top fine artists in their respective mediums.
The influence for James Morton’s paintings is the tradition of painting of the 16th and 17th centuries as seen especially in the works of Titian, Veronese, Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Velasquez. Morton has researched the oil painting methods and materials of these masters through close observation of paintings in museums, the study of early writings on painting technique, and experimentation. He has found that a few simple tricks of painting technique underlie the effects of these masters.
Along with this interest in the painting technique of the masters, has arisen a preoccupation with the female nude as subject. A reading of Kenneth Clark’s book "The Nude" convinced him that there was a rich tradition of imagery stretching back to ancient Greece that has been largely neglected in our time. This subject had been used in earlier art to express emotions and ideas; this content is still interesting and viable, he feels.
James Morton was born in Cleveland in 1947. Early in his life his family moved to Zanesville, Ohio, where his father practiced medicine. His mother who was an amateur artist encouraged his interest in drawing and painting. She sent him to classes at the local art institute taught by Charles Dietz. This teacher and painter had a strong effect on Morton’s development. Dietz taught among other things that a desire to achieve a formal beauty was a sufficient motivation to make a painting.
As an undergraduate at Kenyon College and the University of Wisconsin in the late 1960s, Morton studied art history with the intention of training to become a conservator of paintings. As a graduate student, he wrote his thesis on the subject of the interest of 18th and 19th century British, American, and French painters in rediscovering the technical secrets of the 16th century Venetian painters. After receiving an MA degree in art history in 1971, Morton was disappointed to learn that he is partially red-green color blind; this condition disqualified him from becoming a conservator of painting. But this discovery was ultimately fortunate since it allowed him to fall back on his hope of becoming a painter. He transferred his studies to studio art at UW Madison and received his MFA in 1973 studying under Robert Grilley, a classical figure painter whose work is modeled after Balthus and Ingres. Morton came back to Ohio in 1973, settling in Columbus where he has remained since. He has resided at Milo Arts for about 25 years where he currently lives.
American photographer Willis Shively is best known for his immense body of portraiture work, captured over a career of four decades.
Shively was born in New York City in 1948. After getting his BFA in painting from The Ohio State University in the early 1970s, Shively went on to teach himself the art of photography while working as a night janitor at a local manufacturing plant. Through hard work and intense focus, he became one of the most respected commercial photographers in Columbus, with clients like Abercrombie, Victoria’s Secret, Express, DSW, and BalletMet, among many others.
Always interested in the blurred lines between his artistic and commercial work, Shively slowly transitioned in the early 1990s to a prolific career as an art photographer, primarily using film development and the layering of 35mm slides to create impressionistic “paintings,” and expand the boundaries of what defines conventional photography.
He currently lives at Milo Arts in Columbus, Ohio with his two poodles.