Beauty will save

Beauty in everything

Botanical landscapes by Paul Morrison

Botanical landscapes by Paul Morrison

Phytochrome, 2008. Botanical landscapes by Paul Morrison, English painter

Botanical landscapes by Paul Morrison
Born in Liverpool in 1966, Paul Morrison is a talented English painter. He graduated from Goldsmiths College of Art in London and Hugh Baird College. Morrison is currently living and working in Sheffield. Best known for his large monochromatic botanical landscapes, Morrison painted them in two coats of acrylic paint. All his images painted in two coats of acrylic paint are then scanned into a computer, manipulated and projected onto the canvas. The different elements tend to be disproportionate in size. Tiny plants become huge, while massive trees shrink. And the name of this – ‘cognitive landscape’.
Meanwhile, his first one-person show was in London in 1996 and since then he has displayed his work in various exhibitions across the UK, Europe and America.

Botanical landscapes by English painter Paul Morrison

Cognitive landscapes by English painter Paul Morrison

Morrison alters our sense of scale, perspective, and positive-negative space to create visually striking compositions. Spiky brush and trees often obscure the view beyond the immediate foreground. Dandelion plants and other flora are enlarged to many times their normal size. Referencing Pop art and Op art as well as neo-romantic bookplate illustrations and the graphic art of Aubrey Beardsley, Morrison’s Pop-naturalist landscapes flirt with abstraction in jarring and unexpectedly seductive ways.

Morrison’s “paintings of trees” actually began as much simpler send-ups of Disney-inspired cartoons. His efforts to re-conceive painting through his elegantly de-natured landscapes have deepened and grown more difficult. In large part because he has graduated from the Disneyesque practice of simulating familiar worlds to something more truly imaginary, approaching Tynan’s notion of pure cinema. The precision and consistency of Morrison’s rendering give his unlikely compositions a deceptive, though welcome, sense of clarity. Yet for all their beauty, these are deeply unsettling paintings. Morrison’s blacks and whites, and his snowy fields, make us obligated to read not painting, but nature, all over again.

Botanical landscapes by Paul Morrison

hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions