Clarence Morgan’s fifty-year practice in painting and drawing creates spaces for speculation and unscripted modes of being and knowing. His relation to and reverence for thought’s fragmentary, temporary, and hovering nature materializes in a consistent studiousness with thought as a mark-making practice that embodies sonic and scripted notes on life.
Morgan’s early career group exhibitions include Perspectives of Black American Artists at Black Enterprise Publications Headquarters in New York (1975); Post-Modernist Metaphors (1981) and Southern Exposure (1985) at the Alternative Museum in New York; Visual Arts Encounter: African American Artists in Europe at Galerie Resche in Paris, in collaboration with the historic conference of the same name at Grand Palais de Luxembourg (1994); and Abstracted and Unfixed at Art in General in New York (1997). Recent group exhibitions have been hosted at Loyola University (2022), the Minneapolis Institute of Art (2021), the Cleveland Museum of Art (2014), and the Walker Art Center (2007). Morgan’s solo exhibitions have been numerous throughout his career at private and public university galleries primarily across the United States, including most recently the two-person survey and publication, A Tender Spirit, A Vital Form: Arlene Burke-Morgan and Clarence Morgan at the University of Minnesota’s Katherine E. Nash Gallery in Minneapolis (2023).
Currently Professor Emeritus of Art at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, where he was Department Chair (2004–2010) and Head of Drawing and Painting (2010–2022), Morgan is also a visiting artist at numerous universities including the Beijing Academy of Fine Arts, Cooper Union, Stanford, and Yale.
Morgan’s work is collected by the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Walker Art Center, among many others. He has held numerous residencies and received major grants and awards including from the Bush Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and the McKnight Foundation, and was named Distinguished Alumni by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Born in 1950 in Philadelphia, Morgan lived and taught in North Carolina (1978–1992) and in Minnesota (1992–2022). He currently lives and works in Chicago.