ANITA ROGERS GALLERY presents an exhibition of work by Morgan O’Hara from three distinct series: TIME STUDIES, LETTERPRESS EDITIONS and SILVERPOINT.
An attempt at understanding the meaning of life yielded a process begun by observing closely and making a visual and color-coded accounting of how personal time was spent. TIME STUDIES yielded daily reports, monthly summaries, ends of the year reports, etc. The large body of work was carefully studied at the end of 10 years. Since the conceptual base for the work was strong, there seemed to be only two alternatives: end the process and identify it as a 10-year work, or make a lifetime commitment to it. I chose the latter and the process is now in its 47th year. Daily statistical recording continues in small notebooks. Color coded recordings, beyond the statistics, are done during circumscribed periods of time, i.e. a two-month residency, a clearly defined segment of time.
I made my first letterpress piece in 1978 in French: Le desordre est une forme d’art while teaching in the French-American bilingual school in San Francisco. Over the years I have done letterpress work in Polish, Czech, Italian, Hungarian and English, most often for an installation or performance. In 2016, thanks to residencies at the Emily Harvey foundation in Venice, I have done special editions in Italian. The most elaborate editions are PERDUTO E TROVATO A VENEZIA and ITSELF using 100 year old handcarved wooden letters, printed at La Bottega del Tintoretto in Canareggio with master printer Roberto Mazzetto and with the collaboration of Pier Paolo Pregnolato of Damocle Editions. Editions of 12 with detailed colophon pages, signed and numbered.
I was asked to make drawings with silverpoint for an exhibition. I painted white watercolor paper with black gesso and drew silver points on the black ground, each one pointing in a different direction, image and concept becoming one and the same.
– Morgan O’Hara
O’Hara received the Lee Krasner Award for Lifetime Achievement as an artist in October 2018 and her work is in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The National Gallery in Washington D.C., and The British Museum in London among many other institutions worldwide.