A Tender Spirit, A Vital Form

Arlene Burke-Morgan & Clarence Morgan

2022

Howard Oransky, Editor

A beautifully illustrated review of the deeply connected lives and careers of this prominent Minneapolis African American artist-couple

A Tender Spirit, A Vital Form is prolifically illustrated with reproductions of works by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists Clarence Morgan and Arlene Burke-Morgan and features essays on their personal histories and artistic practices. It is the catalog for an exhibition at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery at the University of Minnesota in 2023.

Clarence Morgan and Arlene Burke-Morgan are the epitome of an artist-couple: in love with each other and their family, in love with their art, and devoted to faith, values, and culture that encouraged their artistic development, leading to national and international acclaim and recognition. Originally from Philadelphia, the couple lived and worked side by side throughout their long careers, contributing significantly to each other and to the art communities of the Twin Cities, the University of Minnesota, and beyond.

For thirty years, Clarence Morgan was a member of the art department at the university; his art, directed toward abstraction, focused on painting, drawing, and printmaking. Arlene Burke-Morgan also taught at the university, and, after early work with textiles, eventually evolved to an approach of abstraction, especially working with clay, drawing, and installations.

The catalog for an exhibition at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery at the University of Minnesota in 2023, A Tender Spirit, A Vital Form is prolifically illustrated with reproductions of works by the artists and features essays on their personal histories and artistic practices.

Contributors: Robert Cozzolino, Minneapolis Institute of Art; Tia-Simone Gardner, Macalester College; Bill Gaskins, Maryland Institute College of Art; Nyeema Morgan, interdisciplinary artist.

Howard Oransky is director of the Katherine E. Nash Gallery at the University of Minnesota. He is cofounder of Form + Content Gallery in Minneapolis.

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