Pard Morrison is an internationally recognized, American artist who fabricates aluminum hybrids of painting and sculpture that makes use of both sculpture and painting conventions. The columnar multi-section structures have surface finishes of color geometric forms. Morrison repeatedly bakes on finishes in a process the artist describes as “patination.” Column (TBD) would be placed in the U.S. Embassy’s landscape and located on the pond.
Geometric abstraction can be traced to early 20th-century Dutch artists like Piet Mondrian (Amersfoort, Netherlands, 1872-1944) and Theo van Doesburg (Utrecht, Netherlands, 1983-1931) who were involved in the De Stijl art movement. De Stijl promoted pure abstraction in art, and practicing artists used straight lines, right angles primary colors, and black, white, and gray. The aesthetic movement’s discipline and simplicity in its usage of the elements has continued to influence art, sculpture, and architecture. Minimalism as a movement, with Frank Stella’s Black paintings (1959) and Donald Judd’s rectilinear and colorful aluminum sculptures of the 1960s, found De Stijl’s principles to provide boundless opportunities to experiment and create new artwork.
In fact, Morrison had served as a studio assistant to Agnes Martin (1912-2004), a grid painter whose minimal works also deeply considered geometric abstraction. Morrison’s large-scale sculptures are constructed from box-like aluminum fabrications that are then patinated by repeatedly baking the finish, Morrison’s “hybrids” are graphic sculptural compositions that function visually as paintings. Morrison characterizes his work as “Human Minimalism.” He believes the “fusion of surface and medium is an applicable metaphor for the human condition.” For Morrison, the physical property of the metal boxes suggests human scale, while ethereal surfaces suggest the human spirit.
Pard Morrison’s outdoor sculpture at The Hague, located on the pond at the Embassy, brings a confluence of ideas full circle as it is informed by the histories of geometric abstraction; American minimalism; the Dutch movement – De Stijl and contemporary notions visual harmony and natural representation.