Washington Street gallery presents “The Edge of the Forest: The Work of Caitlyn Cedarstrom Morris,” a grouping of the late artist’s paintings and drawings. Join us at 321 Washington St, Somerville, for an opening reception on August 4 at 6pm. The show will be open for viewing Saturdays from 12 to 4pm, August 4 through August 25.
The show is curated by the artist’s surviving sister, Maggie Cedarstrom, also a painter. Shortly after Morris’ death, a former professor of hers suggested a memorial show of her work. Finding a space to curate a show to the standards desired has been a multiyear project for Cedarstrom and her parents. This exhibition is a labor of love and a tribute to the spirit of the artist. Although the artist exhibited widely before her death, this will be her first solo show.
Morris’ work is deeply rooted in the natural world. Her large, colorful abstractions conjure fields of flowers, wild and bursting with life. Her tumultuous and kinetic compositions are as emotionally intense as they are physically dynamic, confrontational in their sheer size and intensity. Her smaller works on paper contain the same depth and ability to envelop as her large-scale acrylic paintings. The immediacy of her work becomes meditative through the careful rendering of forms.
Some of the works come to the exhibition without known titles. The known titles of some key pieces, though, are explicitly botanical, as in ‘Grandma’s Grapeleaves.’ This multidimensional water media and collage piece has a musical line work that speaks to the meandering nature of the subject. The space created by the lines and washes is deep and dark, a forest primeval.
Morris was not a material purist; she used multiple mediums to achieve the textured and spatially complex environments of her pieces. Using ink, color, collage and many kinds of marks, she builds up a lamination of color and shape that viewers can lose and find themselves in.
Morris died in November 2014, at age 34, after a 7-year breast cancer struggle. In the years before her death she received her BFA from the University of New Hampshire and her MFA from Massachusetts College of Art. Her work appeared in the first annual Boston Young Contemporaries exhibition in 2005 as well as in galleries across New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In addition to being an accomplished painter, she was also a professor, designer, bartender, yoga teacher, mother of a basset hound named Mabel, sister, daughter, CrossFit athlete and daily yoga practitioner.
Please join us for this very special exhibition.