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Artwork and Rare Studio Artifacts of Alfred Morang to Appear at Matthews Gallery
By: Matthews Gallery
“There’s a reason Morang has been called a ‘neglected master,’” said owner Lawrence Matthews, as he looked from the gallery to the spot nearby where the artist’s studio had stood, just behind the building that once housed the legendary Claude’s Tavern. “He was a Renaissance man, a genius, but his colorful life and tragic death often distract from his powerful artwork.”
Morang moved from Portland, Maine to Santa Fe in 1936, seeking relief from tuberculosis. He had been a highly successful musician and fiction writer back East, publishing in literary magazines alongside Twain, Poe, Frost and others. In the City Different, Morang and his wife Dorothy became fixtures on the social scene. Morang had studied painting under American Impressionist Carroll S. Tyson as a teen, and the dramatic vistas of the Desert Southwest inspired him to develop his abilities as a colorist. He made impressionistic, heavily impastoed landscapes and portraits, treating his pigments like a sculptural medium. As a revered art teacher and prolific painter, he helped shape a generation of Santa Fe artists.
Decades after Morang’s death, local art scholar Paul Parker conducted a national search for a box of the artist’s writings and personal effects that had passed down through the Morang family. The ephemera he discovered—including a charred violin, sketches and extensive writings—will appear alongside artwork by Morang and other New Mexico modernists of the period. For more information, go to www.thematthewsgallery.com.