The elegance of the nearly invisible world of molecular biology defines Morrell’s artwork. His innovative sculptures describe reimagined life forms in luminous and intricately textured glass. He is preoccupied by the new science of synthetic biology. Similar to the way scientists may reengineer an organism’s function by rearranging its genetic structure, Morrell uses computer software to reorganize images from the natural world to use in his work. His fused and carved glass sculptures are informed by these images, describing a refined surface of dense, organic textures in this very solid yet translucent material.
Morrell was born in Oregon and spent 15 years in New York City creating sculptures for Cartier, Saks 5th Ave. and a two story glass facade for the Milennium at Times Square Hotel. Collaborating with other artists, he created the New York Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in carved, illuminated glass. He was interviewed on National Public Television on The McNeil Lehrer News Hour about the experience. In 1995 he moved to the vibrant West Coast art glass community in Portland, Oregon, creating sculptures for VISA International and an actively illuminated, 30 foot long horizontal sculpture for The Portland Center for the Performing Arts. Inspired by the lush, botanical diversity of Oregon, he created a glowing, spiral glass staircase. The transparent steps were hollowed out with a pine tree branch and needle motif and filled with thousands of illuminated fiber-optic strands that softly undulate with color.
His unique artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally and he is currently showing in Switzerland and at the US Embassy in Qatar as a part of the Art in Embassies Program. Here is what art critics are saying about Morrell’s artwork:
“...Lawrence Morrell’s mesmerizing glass sculpture, Chameleon I, stands out. Morrell’s abstracted plant-cell structures are illuminated via LED lights that shift between green, pink and electric blue. The artist is at an interesting point in his career, as his work is at a cross-roads of geeky, gee-whiz romanticism and the equally gee-whiz but more academically rarefied California light-and-space school, as exemplified by Robert Irwin (and James Turrell... In pieces like this, Morrell proves he has the chops to rise above the curb appeal of “Ooh” and “Ahh!” without rejecting the visceral thrills of sheer optical pleasure” Richard Speer, art critic for the Willamette Week Newspaper.