Cloud World (Mazeppa)
This painting with collage of a bound rider and horse is derived from a Mazeppa, a mythic, romantic poem written by Lord Byron in 1819.
Aaron Morse is as influenced by the geography, history and mythology of the Southwest as he is by the language of advertising, collage and comics. The artist's work draws from: American Colonial History, 19th-century Romantic literature, travel and leisure propaganda, nature guides, hunting, whaling and 20th-century politics. Morse’s colorful and layered compositions evoke surreal, alternate worlds where space is ambiguous and tumultuous—combining reality and fantasy to explore ecological themes. The artist's large paintings and watercolors are exceptional for their technique and recall art forms ranging from Chinese landscape painting and Japanese woodblock prints to the drawings of outsider artist Henry Darger and the Beat era collages of Jess.
Combining the language of advertising and comics with the mythology of the Southwest, Aaron Morse’s work depicts alternate worlds where space is ambiguous and tumultuous. The artist’s large paintings and watercolors draw from a range of influences, including 19th-century Romantic literature, Chinese landscape painting, Japanese woodblock prints, the drawings of outsider artist Henry Darger and the collages of Beat-era artist Jess. Morse’s colorful and layered compositions explore both fantasy and reality, while simultaneously touching on ecological issues.
Aaron Morse was born in 1974 in Tucson, Arizona. The artist received a BFA from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona in 1996, and an MFA from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio in 1998.
Solo exhibitions of Morse’s work have taken place at: La Loma Projects in Los Angeles, California (2021); ACME. in Los Angeles, California (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2016); Guild and Greyshkul in New York City (2006, 2008); and the Hammer Museum of Art at the University of California in Los Angeles, California (2008).
Group exhibitions that have shown Morse’s work have taken place at: the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in Santa Barbara, California (2010 and 2016); the Drawing Center in New York City (2021); the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas (2008); the Berkeley Art Museum in Berkeley, California (2004); the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, North Carolina (2004 and 2012); and the Hammer Museum of Art at the University of California in Los Angeles, California (2003).
Morse’s work is included in the collections of: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, California; MoMA in New York City; and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City; among others.
Morse lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
This painting with collage of a bound rider and horse is derived from a "Mazeppa," a mythic, romantic poem written by Lord Byron in 1819. This colorful and layered composition evokes a surreal, alternate world where space is ambiguous and tumultuous.More