The ART Genre of “Organic Modernism”

Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself.

– Annie Leibovitz


Organic Modernism is a designation that can create a bit of confusion. Does it represent a style of furniture or perhaps  a jewelry motif?  Even the Daniel Levin Quartet found the label was a perfect title for their 2011 jazz album.  At ARTprojectA we look to Utah artist Owen Mortensen when we talk about Organic Modernism. Mortensen is an expert at recognizing the inherent aesthetic qualities of organic objects. A leaf, seed pods, or weathered bamboo are

OWEN MORTENSEN - Burnt Bamboo Rings, 2011, Burnt bamboo mounted on mat board, Set, each 25"x25", $2,600

dramatic and beautiful natural design elements when juxtaposed with precise pattern. Often his work is geometric in design exploring the repetition of both positive and negative shapes.

CHRIS DRURY - Rhine Mosel Slate Whirlpool, 2011, Bundesgartenschau Koblenz, Germany

Although Mortensen studied architecture, including many ART and design classes, he believes his best training came during his childhood when he spent hundreds of hours exploring every natural element along the rural irrigation canal behind his home in Northern Utah. Beyond the

OWEN MORTENSEN - Japanese Maple Botanical Print, print on Japanese rice paper, Unframed, 9"x12", $80

irrigation canal of his youth, Mortensen now recognizes the influence of two contemporary European artists, Andy Goldsworthy and Chris Drury. Some have put his use of organic, natural design elements in the same arena as Patrick Dougherty.

Mortensen strives to set his work apart in this exciting new genre of ART and design labeled as Organic Modernism. ARTprojectA is proud to represent a broad selection of his ART, from geometric designs to botanical prints. Each work is true to his aesthetic. Mortensen says, “[my] work stands as an inspiration to viewers to literally stop and smell the roses, and realize the intense beauty found in the everyday, mundane objects of nature.”  Subscribe to News & Offers and receive advance notice of sales, newly added ART, and more!

OWEN MORTENSEN - Zinnia Wave, Flower petals and stems on mat board, 9"x32", framed, $400

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One Response to The ART Genre of “Organic Modernism”

  1. Pingback: Where in the world to find CONTEMPORARY ART? Inhotim, Brazil! | Art Project A

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