Art featuring nature tends to fall into familiar categories: for instance, landscapes or romantic depictions of working-class people. Part of what makes Rebecca Morgan's work so fresh, especially in her new show, "Town and Country", is that she eschews timeworn symbolism for the messy realities and conflicting mythologies of rural life.
“Realities” might sound like a stretch if you’ve beheld Ms. Morgan’s cartoonish, outrageous style. In her paintings, prints and sculptures — which seem like an unholy mix of Peter Saul, R. Crumb and Lisa Yuskavage — body parts bubble and bulge; the most salient feature of the man in “Boring Cunnilingus” (2019) is his pimple-covered buttocks. Yet Ms. Morgan, who grew up in a small Pennsylvania town, includes herself among the characters who grope, slug and lounge in the woods. It keeps her honest.
Her work in this, her fourth solo exhibition at Asya Geisberg, looks sharper than ever as it coalesces around a pair of themes: gender roles and sexism. My favorite piece, “You Can Have It All” (2019), shows a young mother huffing as she carries her baby, flowers, a dish of pasta and the weight of her own breasts. The scene is a perfect, precarious balance of bright colors and big forms. In both cases — woman and painting — upsetting a single element would push the whole thing over the edge.