Chalk Horse is pleased to present En Court by Danny Morse. Danny Morse’s paintings function in between abstraction and figuration. The sweeps and complex lines of multi-purpose sport courts, although representing the real, also recall the abstraction of the twentieth century from Kandinsky to Diebenkorn. The playfulness of the back street three on three is conflated with the high seriousness of twentieth-century abstraction. It is this form of slightly absurd elision that marks these works as contemporary.
Morse uses acrylic paints in animated colours to lift the uniform geometries of the playground court into unprimed voids. Through careful layering of colour and a willingness to move away from the hard edge that is seen in angle line marking we are presented with subtle vibrations between line and plane. The relationship between line and plane, so hierarchical on the playing field, is made less distinct with line and plane taking precedence over one another as they alternatively advance and recede into the picture plane. It is through this approach that we begin to find subtle imperfections in the geometric divisions that suggest a more personal relationship with these hard court sports.
The lines that help define the rules and regulations of each sport in these paintings give way to another sort of play and indecision. Morse takes advantage of this somewhat chaotic visual language and the colour systems that are employed to define each sport. They represent how aesthetics plays outside the rules and how good paintings can open a new space of possibility against society’s normal hierarchies.
Danny Morse has played Basketball on a Wednesday night for the last 12 years.