From the Artist
My earliest prints at Brandywine [Workshop and Archives, Philadelphia, in 1985] related to festivities such as Carnival (Brazil), Mardis Gras (New Orleans), Jonkonnu (Jamaica), and other Caribbean and American African-based festivals, with their spectacular imagery and costumes As in such festivals, my earlier prints were tinged with Eurocentric pageantry, costumes, and religions, although African ancestral imagery predominated. The prints were also inspired by music, such as African music, Caribbean music, and Jazz. From music I learned how to think ahead to avoid confusion as I planned. And from music I learned how to make complex compositions and to improvise. Some of my earlier compositions may seem chaotic at first (not unlike some music) but become more understandable to the patient viewer. Through music I learned how to make form and color pulsate and reverse position and direction in visual counterpoint. However, whereas such things are the essence of music they are merely factors that support imagery in my prints. I don’t try to make visual music. My art is not music but is affected by it. My recent prints are more narrative than the earlier ones. In some of these later prints [made between 1993 and 2012] I use imagery such as Yoruba Ibeji figures, tropical plants, animals, landscape, musical instruments and ceremonial objects along with human figures. In these more recent prints, I create stories and make complex compositions that are still inspired by music, but which are more literal in content. The stories embedded in my more recent prints are my own creation about the African Diaspora: life and fantasy of people of African descent worldwide.
—From Brandywine Workshop and Archives records
Keith Anthony Morrison is an artist, critic, curator, former professor, and arts administrator. His paintings and prints have been exhibited internationally in galleries and museums.
Morrison has received many awards and honors. He ...