The Decomposers
In Joel Morrison’s paintings, EdenSoy containers are broke down, flayed apart and flattened. Drained of their contents, he meticulously crafts soft geometric abstractions. The paintings do not attempt to obscure the primary source material. The design of the container, the textures, creases and folds left from the original form, dictate how the rhythmic patterns take shape. It’s easy to make a link between Morrison’s EdenSoy box and Warhol’s Brillo Box, because both start from a similar place – seeing the packaging of a product itself as more interesting than the stuff inside. But Morrison is not raiding the icebox with a pop sensibility or sliding across surfaces. A genuine reverence for the familiar materializes through his skillful hand. By wrangling containers, Morrison imbues an unremarkable object with an unexpected, aesthetic (re)use-value.

It is fairly common to hear people say that they are ‘addicted’ to sugar. The average American consumes 130 pounds of it in a year. Michael Welsh’s “Island of Worship,” weighs in at about 50 pounds more, hanging heavy and bloated, listing as if about to break.  As in the soymilk containers, the primary medium – sugar – is altered and reconstituted.  Through a laborious process of melting and pouring, Welsh manufactures a form that resembles nothing palatable or edible. “Island of Worship” looks like a bio-organic object teetering towards a major collapse. It could be a melting iceberg signaling the end of eco-systems, or a filthy, resilient, pile of frozen snow that takes too long to dissolve, gathering detritus. Its bulky materiality hints at a collective, human sweet tooth turned rotten.

JOEL MORRISON was born in 1975 in Seoul, South Korea, and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He has shown his work at Flux Factory, Artist Space, Winkleman Gallery, White Box, Arario Gallery, Nurture Art, and other spaces in NYC. He received a BFA in painting and BS in psychology from the University of Iowa.

MICAHEL WELSH was born in 1983 in Arlington, VA, and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He has shown his interdisciplinary work nationally, and is a founding member of GWC Investigators, whose work was included in High Desert Test Sites 2013.  Welsh’s third book, Self Help, was recently released at Printed Matter in NYC. For the release, Welsh collaborated with Sean Joseph Patrick Carney on a bizarre performance that incorporated disparate topics, including Oprah, magic alchemy and abstract painting.