New Muse For Post-Minimalism

New Muse For Post-Minimalism

Morgan Stokes’ post-minimalist work draws you into complex layers, subtly executed. Here, he talks about his sideways step to create works in the new silence of a changing world. Video credit: Tash Yuncken

Morgan Stokes | Concerning Existence | Curatorial+Co. from Curatorial+Co. on Vimeo.


Over the past eighteen months we have all had to learn to live in a new limbo of uncertainty and quiet. World-wide lockdowns forced us to reconcile our own company with the chaos of a changing world, how to make the two make sense threw most of us into a tailspin. Suddenly the white noise of empty streets and quiet homes felt strangely stark against the pings and tones of social media notifications and zoom calls.

During this time, artist Morgan Stokes was feeling these complex and contrasting emotions too. As a technically trained painter, before Covid, Morgan explored surrealist figurative subjects, creating aesthetically pleasing work popular with collectors and punters alike. But as he found himself stuck in a small apartment during lockdown, weighing up the meaning of his work in a changing context, Morgan took a radical step sideways in his practice. He began creating works that existed in this new silence of a changing world.

“I realised that I wasn’t making work that was meaningful,” Morgan tells me from his Redfern studio. “I started to reduce what painting is and the purpose it serves in a world where visual information is forced upon us at every moment.”

Images: Arvin Prem Kumar + Anne Graham

His new works became moments of solace and pause, visual departures from the aesthetically pleasing imagery audiences are constantly asked to engage with on a surface level and nothing more. Instead, creating studies of colour and mark-marking that ask audiences to feel their reaction first, rather than pre-empting an understanding.

Viewing Morgan’s work is as much a mindful experience as it is visual. In keeping with the intentions of the post-minimalist artists of the late 1960s, Morgan’s works reject the inhuman or sanitised nature of minimalist art, instead embracing the hand and warmth of the artist behind the work.

Morgan’s solo launch show ‘Concerning Existence’ with Curatorial+Co. will run from 29 May to 4 June 2020. Opening drinks from 1-4pm Saturday 29 May.

Read more about the artist and view his works here.

This story was contributed by Tash Yuncken, Gallery Associate and Assistant Curator at Curatorial+Co.

Back to blog