Morrison's pieces are hybrids of paintings and sculptures. He first creates aluminum forms, then has them powder-coated in a variety of colors. The overall forms, as well as the colors, have hard edges and are invariably rectilinear in shape. He has apparently retouched the colors so that they have a softness and muted character not usually associated with the high-tech patinating process. His signature works are in the form of wall-hung bas-reliefs that function as two-dimensional objects when seen straight-on. When seen from an angle, however, they shift into three dimensions, with the pronounced sides and the sometimes subtle changes in the front surface planes becoming visible.
In "So Far Gone I'm Here," squares of color are lined up horizontally. At one point off to the right of center and precisely where two colors split, the surface of the piece steps back toward the wall. In "Anthology," a stack of brick-like forms covers a horizontal rectangle, with a single brick shape attached off-center at the bottom. These inconsistencies in the patterns add lots of visual and conceptual interest.
"Double Gates," by Herbert Bayer, wool rug.
"At the Edge of the World," by Pard Morrison, powder-coated aluminum.
Through June 19, Z Art Department, 1136 Speer Boulevard, 303-623-8432.Through May 22, Rule Gallery, 227 Broadway, Unit 101, 303-777-9473, www.rulegallery.com.
The title piece, "At the Edge of the World," is different in form, being a freestanding attenuated vertical shaft. The flat and smooth surfaces are covered with block-like shapes of color. The color blocks are arranged in a simple basket-weave, with individual color pairs positioned back to back, but with each pair set at a ninety-degree angle to the pair adjacent to it. This placement alternates all the way up the simulated pile. As simple as it is, it still carries a big visual punch. I thought it was fabulous.
The Morrison show at Rule is the perfect companion to the Bayer exhibit at Z, and seeing them together brings the dialogue full circle. Both shows highlight how the simple act of assembling geometric forms continues to be an inexhaustible source of artistic success.