Rebecca Morris at Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Oct. 1, 2022

EXHIBITION | Los Angeles | Rebecca Morris: 2001–2022, presents a 21-year survey of Los Angeles-based painter Rebecca Morris (American, b. 1969), an artist best known for her large-scale paintings and inventive approach to composition, color, and gesture. One of the most formidable painters working today, Morris’s practice demonstrates a rigorous commitment to experimentation and abstraction. Marking the artist’s first major museum survey since 2005, the exhibition is the first of this scale in Los Angeles, where she has lived and worked for nearly 25 years. The occasion also marks Morris’ return to the ICA LA (formerly the Santa Monica Museum of Art), which hosted the artist’s first museum exhibition, titled Frankenstein, in 2003.

Featuring a range of paintings produced since 2001 and showcasing the artist’s progression of styles and rigorous commitment to experimentation and abstraction, the exhibition includes 30 paintings. It highlights several formal tendencies that Morris has developed over the years, resulting in a distinct and recognizable visual language. Her arsenal of techniques includes erasure, dripping, and spray painting, applied to canvases lying flat on the floor in an active, physical process. Recurring motifs—such as atomization; the use of patterns, grids, and checkerboards; interlocking geometric forms; painted borders delimiting the picture plane; and her characteristic use of color, including metallic hues and saturated tones, will be traced through groupings of works.

Morris often uses grids and lines as an organizing structure, nodding to their important position within the history of painting and following a generation of conceptual artists who routinely deployed grids and lines to organize visual space, structure and contain ideas and information, mark time, and create discrete systems that rejected representational modes of production. Her oeuvre can also be understood within the framework of artists as diverse as those associated with Pattern & Decoration, with the formal tensions and contradictions contained within her embrace of patterns and textures, and the visibility of her hand in every gesture. Morris’s paintings are invested with a dynamism that pushes against the historical foundation of her chosen medium. It offers a glimpse into exciting ways forward for the constantly evolving and expanding field of painting today.

Morris’s widely regarded and influential career deserves careful consideration, and the exhibition will provide a close look at her wildly inventive and important work. The exhibition is accompanied by a forthcoming major scholarly publication, designed by Lorraine Wild of Green Dragon Office, Los Angeles, in close collaboration with the artist. The fully illustrated volume, expected to be released in early 2023, will be the most comprehensive book on the artist to date, with newly commissioned texts, reprints, and an interview with the artist offering an extensive review of her practice and its place within the contemporary art field. The exhibition will travel to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in Fall 2023.

Learn more HERE.

Rebecca Morris: 2001–2022
October 1, 2022–January 14, 2023