Robert C. Morgan. Courtesy of the artist.
Formalist painting most frequently hinges on a construct of empiricism which holds that geometric forms, line, and color, ordered in harmony are sufficient content such that form is synonymous with the content of the work. This line of reasoning positions formalism within the discourse of modernism and this, as the artist has said “raises the question as to the role of formalism after post modernism” (1).
The intellectual rigor that distinguishes the paintings of Robert C. Morgan from conventional formalist work, lies in its conceptual underpinning. The reaction of natural light and its relationship to the internal components is the basis of the function of Morgan’s work. Morgan’s paintings are intimate in scale and at first glance seem to be situated with in the discourse of formalism. The fifteen paintings from the Loggia Series of 2019, are primarily square, painted in a limited pallet of pure colors rendering geometric forms, are constructed entirely of straight lines and right angles. The series seem to be executed in a systemic manner. The curator Lawrence Alloway described systemic painting by saying “form becomes meaningful, not because of ingenuity or surprise, but because of repetition and extension.