Morgan Bulkeley at Yezerski Gallery

Carved and Painted

By: - Sep 17, 2021


Morgan Bulkeley
Carved and Painted
Howard Yezerski Gallery
460 Harrison Ave., A16
Boston, MA 02118
September 10 - October 15, 2021

A resident of Western Massachusetts, Morgan Bulkeley was the subject of a retrospective at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield. His career began as a seminal artist of the Boston scene. His exhibition at Yezerski Gallery remains on view through October 15.

"These carved reliefs are from a series of pieces I began in May, 2019.  The first one felt like a selfie with a pileated woodpecker; the second one was for a dear friend’s 13-year-old daughter who died in a terrible ATV accident. From then on each one seemed to spring from my surroundings or my interior world, generated often by either news or personal highs and lows. I have carved a number of these and had them cast in bronze for the gravestones of my loved ones. The process of carving is quite physical; the painting is quietly meditative. I love the odd feeling of the shallow space igniting with a highlight on top of a form, or sinking with a shadow beneath. At the beginning they were faces becoming landscapes; but now they seem to be turning into complexity and unconscious chaos, flotsam, and jetsam, fodder for a psychiatrist.

"I try to make paintings that are beautiful, frightening and funny all at once, similar to The Theater of the Absurd, which assumes things are so bad that you can only laugh. I see in nature and in the best of humanity an incredible beauty; but I also see in our technology and aggression a will and ability to destroy that beauty, either actively or inadvertently. The refuse of our consumerism, wafting down our streets, caught in the twigs of trees in our deepest forests or swirling in giant gyres in the ocean, is a steady reminder of our growing and smothering effect on our only habitable planet. I paint to try to make people think of the fragility in which we exist."

Morgan Bulkeley