FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Regen Projects is pleased to announce representation of Los Angeles-based artist Rebecca Morris. The artist will present her first exhibition with the gallery in 2025.
Morris has dedicated her thirty-year career to the exploration of abstraction. Her work has taken basic elements like stroke, surface, and frame to question the underlying pretenses of abstract painting, exposing the tensions between the flat surface of the work and the painting as discrete object. Recurring motifs such as fragmented patterns and distorted grids further complicate her work against the larger history of conceptual artists that have used precise geometry to delineate visual space. Variously associated with the schools of Pattern and Decoration and Supports/Surfaces, Morris’s work has steadfastly refused placement into one clear category or movement.
In her practice, Morris often thins oil paint to the extent that it resembles watercolor. By repeating concerted, expressive brush marks across subtle, consistent grounds, she creates patterns that evoke soil samples, bacterial cultures, arial landscapes, or the glyphs and syntax of an as-yet-undiscovered language. In some works, Morris divides these mottled autonomous expanses of charcoal, ochre, azure, and purple with sturdy grids and frames composed entirely of silver and gold enamel spray paint. Many of her paintings feature variations on a jagged, irregular motif that she refers to as the “lobster claw.” More than all other colors, Morris reveres red, having set for herself the goal of painting “the ultimate red painting.”
Morris’s 2004 “Manifesto (For Abstractionists and Friends of the Non-Objective),” placed as a full-page Artforum advertisement for an exhibition in Berlin, set forth her support of abstraction as it “campaign(s) against the literal.” As Hamza Walker has written, “Rebecca Morris’s commitment to abstraction lies somewhere between the poles of fierce and rabid, a prerequisite for coping with a pluralism arising not only from across disciplines but from within the discipline of painting itself” (Hamza Walker, Abstract This, published by The Renaissance Society, 2005).
Recently the subject of a 21-year traveling survey organized by Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Morris is widely recognized among the most inventive contemporary painters working today.
Shaun Caley Regen said, “We are thrilled to be working with Rebecca Morris. I first encountered her work in Made in L.A. 2016 at the Hammer Museum, curated by Aram Moshayedi and Hamza Walker. And more recently in her breathtaking monographic survey at the ICA LA curated by Jamillah James. Rebecca is a master of abstraction with a mature and honed painterly vocabulary. The idiosyncratic dexterity and rigorous approach to her work places her front and center in the current dialogue around abstract painting. It’s exciting to welcome this extraordinary, brilliant, and essential artist into our program. I look forward to her survey exhibition opening at the MCA Chicago in the fall, and to our first exhibition with Rebecca in 2025.”
In addition to Regen Projects, the artist is represented by Bortolami in New York, Corbett vs. Dempsey in Chicago, and Galerie Barbara Weiss Trautwein & Herleth in Berlin.
Rebecca Morris (b. 1969, Honolulu, HI) lives and works in Los Angeles. She received a BA from Smith College in Northampton, MA, and an MFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL.
Solo exhibitions of the artist’s work include Rebecca Morris: 2001–2022, Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2022–2023), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2023); Rebecca Morris: The Ache of Bright, Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston (2019); Rose Cut, 356 Mission, Los Angeles (2015); Southafternoon, Kunsthalle Lingen (2013), Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht (2014); Rebecca Morris: Fantastic L.A., LAXART, Los Angeles (2014); Rebecca Morris Paintings 1996–2005, The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (2005); and Rebecca Morris: Frankenstein, Santa Monica Museum of Art (2003).
Morris’s work has been presented in numerous group exhibitions including Prospect 2017, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only, Hammer Museum; and Whitney Biennial 2014, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.
Work by Morris is included in museum collections including The Art Institute of Chicago; Bonnefanten, Maastricht; Cleveland Museum of Art; DePaul Art Museum, Chicago; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Sammlung Goetz, Munich.
She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, California Community Foundation, and Art Matters, among others.
A major catalogue will be published in fall 2023 to coincide with Rebecca Morris: 2001–2022 at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. This fully illustrated volume will provide the most comprehensive account of Morris’s practice and career to date.
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Image: Rebecca Morris, Untitled (#10-20), 2020. Oil on canvas, 90 x 95 in (228.6 x 241.3 cm).