The paintings of Maxx Morgan and Bryce Hammond in “A Tale of Two Cities” at Alan Avery Art Company are as different as, well, night and day.
Morgan limns glamorous nocturnal views of the Atlanta skyline. Shimmering high-rises beckon seductively from a distance. Even the traffic, a ribbon of headlights floating in the inky darkness, is appealing.
Clearly enamored of light effects, the Atlanta artist also makes small abstractions from streaks of neon, notes reflections on motorcycle fenders and the shimmer of street lights in the night air.
It’s always Saturday night in Morgan’s Atlanta. Personal and urban woes are shunted into the shadows as the city trips the light fantastic.
In contrast, it’s Monday morning in Bryce Hammond’s paintings of Brooklyn. In the unsparing light of day, we see pedestrian red-brick buildings garnished with graffiti. Hammond also takes us off the street into bare-bones rental apartments and scruffy galleries.
Careful description and three-dimensional interior spaces suggest lived experience, especially in contrast to the constellation of marks that magically coalesce into cityscapes in Morgan’s paintings.
As I wrote in my review in the print edition of the AJC, “If Morgan’s Atlanta is George Clooney in a tuxedo, Hammond’s Brooklyn is an artist in a T-shirt.” Probably Hammond himself.