From a distance, the blocks of color seem prefabricated, but closer inspection reveals tactile brushstrokes. Morrison welds his sculptures from pieces of aluminum, painting each piece individually with colored pigment. The pieces are cured in an industrial oven, in a process called patination. The smooth, uniform colors and geometric shapes could have been robotically cast or 3D printed, but bear the marks of human construction. Morrison likes the incongruity of pairing something apparently artificially fabricated with evidence of creative craftsmanship, combining the natural and artificial, blurring the line between them.
Heliotrope, showcasing new work by Pard Morrison, is now at San Francisco’s Brian Gross Fine Art. This is Morrison’s fourth solo show at the venue. Featuring three monolithic, freestanding sculptures, multi-colored paintings and a number of smaller wall-mounted sculpture, Heliotrope is a study in brightly colored geometric patterns. The title piece is a massive, eight-foot tall aluminum sculpture, covered in patterns of bent, vertical lines of saturated color. Influenced by Anne Truitt and Agnes Martin, Morrison’s minimalist art explores the visual interplay of color, form and pattern.
Heliotrope literally means to turn towards the sun. The patterns in this series reflect a psychological shift towards light. The complex, zigzag patterns and chevrons dance from darker to lighter tones. The metal cubes, covered with dynamic stripes of repeating color feel lighthearted, especially given their whimsical, sometimes romantic titles.
Morrison’s geometric, aluminum sculptures have been displayed around the world, from Denver to Venice. Heliotrope will be on view at Brian Gross Fine Art through August 25, 2018.