Born 1969 in Honolulu, Hawaii
Lives and Works in Los Angeles, CA
Rebecca Morris’s paintings are deeply serious, while raising issues of taste in an almost humorous way; they draw from historical forms and innovations and also are completely new and forward-looking. Deeply invested in painting as a medium, her works are inspired by all craft that responds to the idiosyncrasy of the artist’s hand. Her paintings share a strong underlying composition based on a gridded structure. On this foundation, Morris builds up her flat surface with tightly interlaid geometric shapes in a variety of textures and surface treatments to create pockets of expansiveness. Together these building blocks result in a completely personal language that Morris has developed, with a unique internal logic whose constituent parts are not always readily apparent.
In response to criticisms of abstract painting, Rebecca Morris wrote her manifesto, “For Abstractionists and Friends of the Non-Objective,” as a tongue-in-cheek yet absolutely sincere call to arms for practitioners of the form. This list of missives to herself, her students, and her fellow artists—including “Triangles are your friend”; “Never stop looking at macramé, ceramics, supergraphics and suprematism”; “Perverse formalism is your god”; “Make work that is so secret, so fantastic, so dramatically old school/new school that it looks like it was found in a shed, locked up since the 1940's”; and “When in doubt, spray paint it gold”—reveals the directness and contradictions characteristic of her work.