Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Robert Morgan’s early interest in art was fueled by the rich traditions of the Berkshires/Hudson Valley region. After residing in Buenos Aires, London, Boston, and San Francisco among other places, he returned to the area of his youth. He now lives in the Taconic Mountains of Petersburgh, NY, with his artist wife Pennie Brantley.
Bob utilizes traditional watercolor medium to lure the viewer into a sensual, surreal, and conflicting journey. While his work sprang from the delicate, sensitive watercolors abundant in this historical region, the paintings have grown into huge collaged pieces that invite a wide, participatory view. With dense pigment, textured treatment of the surfaces and off-beat compositional schemes, he stretches content, technique and scale, reversing the ‘precious’ attributes usually associated with the medium.
Morgan’s paintings are frequently composed of a number of layers of varnished watercolors mounted with objects on canvas, resulting in visual planes that are often out of expected context. Morgan wants his works to resonate, to vibrate on a frequency that sets off a chain reaction of personal conflicts and comparisons. He isn't content with gratifying the viewer with agile craftsmanship, but instead wants us to share the tension inevitably lurking behind the beauty.
Early in his career, Bob was honored with a prestigious MacDowell Colony Fellowship. After exhibiting in numerous solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries on both US coasts and internationally, Morgan was featured in a major retrospective at the Borges Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In the exhibition catalog, Ed Shaw, one of South America’s foremost art critics, said: “Morgan is an anachronism in today's art world. Cloaked in classical garb, his work requires a pause from zapping and deserves the effort of a second glance. For those who are willing to share his search, he takes aim at clarifying those obscure mysteries which make life so tantalizing.”