Landscape painter Daniel Morper has earned acclaim for his naturalistic, light-saturated images of such diverse scenes as views upward into the skies above Manhattan, scenic panoramas of the badlands and canyons of the American West, and nostalgic paintings of rural landscapes and townscapes. In 2008 LewAllen Contemporary is presenting the first retrospective exhibition covering the full scope of Morper’s career, from his Manhattan cityscapes of the 1970s, up to and including his richly evocative portraits of the old Santa Fe Railyard.
“Morper rewards looking.” So says well-known art critic and historian Peter Frank in the catalogue for LewAllen Contemporary’s retrospective exhibition. Frank adds: “Morper has a knack for finding the spectacular in the mundane…emphasizing – but not exaggerating – the skew of a vantage, the force and weight of a horizon, the surprise and poignancy of an object silhouetted against a sky.” By combining a pre-modernist regard for the meaning of nature with a modernist’s search for elemental vision and post-modern exactitude, Morper has, in Peter Frank’s view, “helped to bring about a veritable renaissance in American landscape painting.”
Another critic has noted, “Morper’s style borders the edge of photorealism but is filled with metaphor: stunning Southwest light and enough painterly touches to remind viewers that they are looking at hand-painted expressive illusions and not imitations of photography.”
Frank first celebrated Morper’s unique take on American landscape painting in a January 1979 review in ARTnews praising Morper’s solo exhibition at the G. W. Einstein gallery in New York.
Born in Fort Benning, Georgia, Morper earned his BA at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and later studied at the Corcoran Museum School of Art in Washington, DC. He received a law degree from Columbia University in New York and practiced law before devoting himself full-time to painting. His evocative landscapes have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States for three decades and are represented in many prominent public and private collections. Notable among the museums holding his work are the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Philbrook Museum of Art, and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.