Jenny Morgan’s largest solo exhibition to date will also be her most potent and thrilling, a major statement amongst Colorado’s burgeoning landscape of contemporary art collectors . “Rise – Jenny Morgan Self Portraits in Colorado Collections from between 2009 and 2016” will be presented at the Sangre de Cristo Art Center in Pueblo, Colorado from October 7th, 2016 through January 22nd, 2017. The exhibition consists of 20 paintings spread among eleven private Colorado-based art collections, as well as Morgan’s most recent two large-scale paintings completed in time for the exhibition. Rise is a snapshot into one of the most exciting art practices of our times, shaping historic antecedents in a manner that is highly nuanced and thoroughly compelling. Almost everyone who has collected her work or become familiar with Morgan’s work understands and reveres this particular engagement, most obsessively so.
Jenny Morgan left Denver, Colorado in 2006 to pursue a masters in painting at NYC’s School of Visual Arts. Her paintings and exhibitions up to that point had already garnered high acclaim such as ”Top Representational painter” by the Rocky Mountain News, an artist to collect now by Colorado Homes and Lifestyles, and entry as a finalist into the inaugural “Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition held at the National Gallery in Washington D.C. Numerous fans and collectors had joined the fold, elevating her status internally as one of the leading forces to have started her career with Plus Gallery. The following two years found a shift in direction for Morgan and her painting, though not the purpose. Her return solo exhibition at Plus Gallery in 2009 found her tackling subjects, and herself, head-on with searing portraits that plumbed the depth of human emotion while attacking the tenets of ”realism” in a remarkably effective, intense way. With each and every exhibition since then, Morgan has grown in her depth, range and stature as an artist, slowly but surely becoming one of the most focused and captivating figures of today’s contemporary scene. Her work has appeared on the cover of four national publications to date including Art Ltd., Juxtapose, High Fructose, and B!isss, the latter two just this year and featuring self portraits. She has been commissioned by the New York Times Magazine and New York magazine several times for celebrity features that defy her normal pursuit but nevertheless result in scintillating takes on their subjects. Her recent solo exhibitions in NYC, where she has been based the last decade, have been with Driscoll Babcock Galleries, the oldest gallery in the city now operating at the forefront of Chelsea’s contemporary scene. Her most recent solo show took place earlier in 2016 in London, UK with Beers Contemporary, further entrenching her reach and exposure to an international audience. Every step along her path to today has been remarkable, genuine and inherently exciting like no other.
For the majority of Morgan’s collectors, nothing holds more reverence within her art than her self portraits, a constantly shifting, dynamic process that taps into her innermost thoughts, anxieties, as well as fresh angles into painting that resolve best around herself. Each and every painting in Rise has a story behind it, whether in relation to the greater exhibition or moment they emanated from, or simply the collectors pursuit of and fondness for the work. Only six of the 20 paintings on view have been shown previously in Denver as part of Plus Gallery solo exhibitions, the rest have largely been on limited view or never seen prior in the state of Colorado outside of the private collections. Curating an exhibition such as this has been a dream-project for Plus Gallery, an ambitious show that presents a substantial declaration at the mid-point of her second decade exhibiting as an artist. Plus Gallery is thrilled to team up with the Sangre de Cristo Art Center for this historical, momentous occasion.