Aliza Morell Night Shift Exhibition Essay

Molly Ledbetter, 15 May 2023

We are pleased to share an essay written by Molly Ledbetter on the occasion of Aliza Morell's exhibition Night Shift.


Molly Ledbetter lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Recent publications include Changes Press, blush lit, and Iterant. Her first chapbook, FLOUNDER, is forthcoming this year with After Hours Editions.


When I visited Aliza in her studio in January, I left thinking I could work a thousand years and not be able to make one of her paintings. Aliza is rigorous, and the paintings are complex to assemble. Since we were in school together at Rutgers, I’ve watched her process of making them develop into something almost mathematically idiosyncratic. I’ve always admired it. But she talks most emphatically about the feeling of the work, less the rigor. The rigor is the part we don’t see. I left thinking about how, for the viewer, it’s what allows the paintings to transcend any process of making them. They feel like a cool breeze on the back of the neck.