Jeff Morton Is Hunter Invitational III Artist Of The Week

Monday, August 18, 2014
"Muscle Memory Diptych: Mitosis," 2013, Charcoal on Arches paper, 30" x 44"
"Muscle Memory Diptych: Mitosis," 2013, Charcoal on Arches paper, 30" x 44"

Chattanooga artist Jeffrey Morton is the Hunter Museum Invitational III Artist of the Week.  He has been on faculty at Covenant College since 2000 and is the current head of their art department.  

A Yale University alumnus, Mr. Morton received his Master of Fine Art there in 1992, and his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Temple University Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia.  

He is currently exploring the landscape around his home through obsessive drawings and heavily encrusted paintings, an interest which began with a two year residency in Japan earlier in his career. The artist has exhibited around the U.S. and in the southeast, including the Hunter Museum.

Mr. Morton said, "If place, according to art critic Lucy Lippard, is the latitudinal and longitudinal map of a person's life, then my drawings have literally helped me find home. I'm a note-taker, mapmaker, and to a certain extent, a plotter. 

"My practice is to wander the landscape with a notebook by my side and return to my studio with pages of sources for additional works. In the landscape, I am attracted to the organic repetitions found there. Often I find unexpected patterns through the documentation of birds in flight, the diagramming of wind currents over blown grasses, and now for the last four years, through the examination of branching kudzu formations. 

"While the form of kudzu is an intriguing subject, it is the encounter of walking through this strange and invasive landscape that intrigues me more. Actually the experience is scary. These recent drawings have taught me about my art, but they have taught me much more. I have learned about the significance of being grounded in a place I now call home, and how to love the landscape of the south."

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