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Exhibition of new paintings by Morgan Fisher opens at Bortolami Gallery in New York
Installation view of the exhibition at Bortolami Gallery.
NEW YORK, NY.- Bortolami Gallery presents “Interior Color Beauty,” an exhibition of new paintings by Morgan Fisher and his second one-person exhibition at the gallery. The 25 paintings are enlarged facsimiles of paint chips showing color combinations for interiors in the booklet Exterior and Interior Color Beauty, produced in about 1935 by General Houses, Inc., a manufacturer of prefabricated houses founded by the artist’s father, Howard T. Fisher. The exhibition realizes what Morgan Fisher understood when he found the booklet in his father’s files many years ago, that the groups of chips were paintings ready-made.

The colors were chosen by a color consultant to make pleasing combinations, each suited to one of four kinds of rooms: living room, dining room and entrance hall, bedrooms, and kitchen. Each combination for one kind of room was suited to a specific combination in each of the others, offering a range of color schemes for the entire house. The organization of the booklet determined the organization of the show. The booklet grouped the chips by room, and each of the gallery’s four principal spaces contains a corresponding group of paintings. The exhibition moves the color relations among the successive groups of chips from the pages of the booklet to successive architectural spaces.

Following the chips in the booklet, each painting consists of two or three rectangular panels. Each panel is painted a uniform color, and the panels are placed edge to edge to make a painting, itself a rectangle. And, following the chips, the panels in a painting are different sizes to suggest the relative areas of the surfaces in a room, and the panels’ positions relative to each other suggest the locations of these surfaces in the room.

To enhance the effect of their pleasing colors, the chips in a combination were placed directly next to each other. The paintings reproduce this arrangement and so stand in contrast with paintings that copy the format of conventional color charts, where each color is isolated and not intended to relate to those nearby. The colors in a painting have pleasing relations not only among themselves, but, in accordance with the relations among the chips for different rooms, one painting in any of the four spaces has pleasing relations with a painting in each of the others.

Morgan Fisher was born in 1942 in Washington, D.C. He studied art history at Harvard College and then film in Los Angeles. His early work was in film, and more recently he has made paintings, sculptures, photographs, and works on paper. Many of the paintings and sculptures are related to architecture, as are the paintings in this exhibition. His recent one-person exhibitions at public institutions were at the Aspen Art Museum in 2013; the Generali Foundation, Vienna in 2012; Raven Row in London and the Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, in 2011; and Portikus, Frankfurt in 2009. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

The artist and Bortolami Gallery have published a limited edition facsimile of Exterior and Interior Color Beauty, which will be available from the gallery.

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