Victoria Morton ‘SLEEP LINE’

Installation view 'SLEEP LINE', The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane Bricks Space, 2021
The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane Bricks Space

Victoria Morton’s sixth solo exhibition with The Modern Institute features new canvases on intimate and expansive scales. Though not ‘site specific’, the works were made in anticipation of the rough, stripped-back environment of the Bricks Space. Morton creates a constructed experience of space, movement and depth through colour relationships and the orchestration of volume, linearity, and veiling. Shaped and built over time, each canvas explores the organic nature of paint and the sustained act of painting: multiple layers of varying luminosity and swelling colours recede and spread across the surfaces.

In many of Morton’s paintings, parallels with music — intervals of time and tone; frequency and waveforms; pulse and breathe — are important. In this current group, similar analogies are more weighted towards patterns of sleep and wakefulness, with Morton currently working on a commission of bedspreads for the new artists’ residency accommodation at Hospitalfield Arts, Arbroath. Individual paintings explore different states of alertness and levels of consciousness.

Informed by drawing and photography, and implicitly referencing earlier painting (in these recent works, particularly Giotto and Japanese woodblock prints), Morton’s rigorous practice achieves the specificity of figuration, though recognisable imagery is replaced by an apprehension of super-animated painting itself, and the viewer’s heightened sense of relationship with it. Here representation becomes a matter of something not just ‘described’ but manifest — Morton invites us to not only see but to feel and sense the fullness of reality.

The artist would like to thank Merlin James.

Victoria Morton (b. 1971, Glasgow) lives and works in Glasgow. She has exhibited internationally, with selected solo exhibitions including: ‘Pedal Point’, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2021); ‘Treat Fever with Fever’, The Modern Institute, Glasgow (2019); ‘My Mother Was A Reeler’, Etro, London (2016); The Modern Institute, 3 Aird’s Lane, Glasgow (2014); ‘Mouth Wave’, Rat Hole Gallery, Tokyo (2014); ‘Tapestry (Radio On)’, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston (2012); Inverleith House, Edinburgh (2010); and ‘Sun By Ear’ (with Katy Dove), Tramway, Glasgow (2007).

Recent commissions include: Royal College of Music Museum, London (2021); Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre, Cambridge (2019); and Perse Upper School for Performing Arts, Cambridge (2018).

Recent group exhibitions include: ‘Fieldwork’, 42 Carlton Place, Glasgow (2020); ‘Foundation Painting Show’, British Heart Foundation, Glasgow International, Glasgow (2018); ‘What You Do, I Like’, Hospitalfield Arts, Arbroath (2018); ‘Surface Work’, Victoria Miro, London (2018); ‘Von Pablo Picasso bis Robert Rauschenberg Schenkung Céline, Heiner und Aeneas Bastian Hommage à Ingrid Mössinger’, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Berlin (2017); ‘Out of the Frame: Scottish Abstraction’, The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum, Dundee (2016); ‘Devils in the Making’, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow (2015); ‘Generation: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland’, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2014); and ‘That Petrol Emotion’, Metropolitan Art Society, Beirut (2014).