NMSU branding

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center




Internationally recognized contemporary painter’s work at NMSU Art Gallery exhibit

Thirty-four paintings and one video from artist Jenny Morgan will fill the New Mexico State University Art Gallery from July 26 through September 21. “A Higher Ground, a mid-career survey exhibition” by Morgan tracks the development of the artist’s work for more than 10 years.


Head and shoulders of a woman
Jenny Morgan's work "Shadow Play" is a 35" X 35" oil on canvas. (Image Courtesy of the Collection of Dr. Wayne F. Yakes, M.D.)

An opening reception for the exhibit is set for 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 26 at the University Art Gallery, 1390 E. University Avenue. All events are free and open to the public.

Through masterful additive and subtractive techniques of layering paint, Morgan sands, blurs, and glazes as a way to explore varying metaphors, removing the “skin” of her muses and grinding backwards through time to complex worlds and multi-dimensional frameworks. Morgan deeply values the relationships she builds with her subjects and explores those personal connections using the canvas as a visual map to understand the human condition.

“Exploring deep psychological and spiritual themes, including the metaphysical, life, death, and the otherworldly, Morgan’s vulnerable portraits ask the viewer to suspend certain aspects of reality to transcend the ordinary way of viewing the body,” said Marisa Sage, director of the gallery. “Morgan bathes her subjects in fields of color, bringing features in and out of focus, pushing the boundaries of familiarity and perception, to create an opening for deeper psychological responses and explorations.”

Morgan has had solo exhibitions in New York, Colorado, Utah, and Indiana; and has participated in numerous group exhibitions including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, in Washington, D.C.; 92Y Tribeca, the Le Roy Neiman Gallery at Columbia University; and at galleries in Florida, England and Sweden.

In addition to the exhibition, Morgan will host an artist lecture at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30 followed by an artist reception at 6:30 pm. at the gallery.

The majority of the works featured in this exhibition are part of the personal collection of Dr. Wayne F. Yakes, M.D., a pioneer vascular & interventional radiology specialist and passionate art collector who began his collection with an emphasis in Russian Art and has now collected contemporary art from across the world.

Dr. Yakes is quoted in a catalogue describing her works. “Morgan’s experimentation with monochromatic backgrounds, sentient faces with a skull subtly skulking on the canvas, nudes that are more beguiling than erotic, red hands sans gloves in miscreant postures, eroded faces that are distinct in their countenance, all contribute to a cornucopia of emotions, images, and ethereal conjectures. My odyssey into Jenny Morgan’s world, into her macrocosm of characters, is one of the most edifying exposures to modern artistic endeavor that I have ever encountered.”

Dr. Yakes will present a lecture on collecting art and the role of the collector in the visual art world at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8 at the gallery.