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Sarah Morris - As Slow as Possibles

Hors Les Murs

Sarah Morris, Strange Magic, 2014. © Courtesy of the artist and Fondation Louis Vuitton

Date
From 08.09.2023 to 07.01.2024
Place
Espace Louis Vuitton München
Maximilianstrasse 2a
80539 München
Phone
+49 89 55 89 38 100,
Hours
Monday–Friday : 12p.m.–7 pm; Saturday: 10 am–7 pm

The Espace Louis Vuitton München is pleased to present "As Slow as Possibles", an exhibition dedicated to American artist Sarah Morris, as part of the Fondation “Hors-les-murs“ programme.

Sarah Morris studied at Cambridge University, United Kingdom, before joining the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum in New York, USA, in 1989. Her first paintings in the 1990s are large-format reproductions of words taken from the headlines of newspapers or the covers of magazines. Her acrylic paint compositions in stark, solid colours might recall Barbara Kruger’s slogans or Ed Rusha’s catchwords. They show a “pop” sensibility that betrays the fact that she worked at Jeff Koons’s workshop for several years. She uses that same technique to create geometric compositions in vibrant colours that appear abstract but that carry titles which evoke cities, architectures, or other points of interest. Inherited from the Op Art and Néo-Géo (Neo-Geometric) movements, the modernist grid is an essential part of her visual language, as much for its formal qualities as for its historical, sociological and political connotations. But more than abstraction, they are the interpretation of a global landscape: a grid from which it is impossible to escape, an expression of our contemporary “psycho-geographic” environment.

Concurrently with painting, Morris directs films which are instrumental in her visual approach to the world. They are the intellectual and visual backdrop, what she calls a “reference point“. She considers her films as “visual manifestos,“picturing cities comparable to Paul Strand’s historical images or Walter Ruttmann’s films. Capital (2000) is dedicated to Washington D.C., while other works portray New York, Las Vegas, Miami, Los Angeles or Beijing, keeping capitalism as an economic and political system that produces forms as the principal subject of research. Each film has given rise to a series of paintings that appears non-figurative according to the subjective principles of equivalences. She allows herself a few exceptions in her dynamics, such as Points on a Line (2010) or Strange Magic (2014), displayed in this exhibition.

The music of artist Liam Gillick enhances the formal rigor, framing, and colours of the composition, as well as the visual dynamics of the films.

“The images in my films always play with concepts of the spectacle, of the commodity, of political power or power at large. The images use and play with a vocabulary of propaganda, so in a way the music becomes sutured to the image,” explains the artist. “As in all my films, the music is written by Liam Gillick and is not composed for the images. What Liam creates are units of music, a series of modalities autonomous from the images in their production. Improvisation is at play on many levels. Sometimes the music goes against the image and sometimes it goes with the image. This is up to me. It works like modalities in psychology. It is sort of an alchemy. There is an aspect of quotation in my films, like out-takes of a political unconscious of forms. In a way the images are already familiar to you even if you have never seen them like this before.”

Sarah Morris

Since the end of the 1990s, Sarah Morris has been developing a dual vision of urban spaces and architecture through her paintings and films, forming a body of work that reflects hyper-modernity. Morris’ films are set in specific social and urban contexts, focusing on well-known places.

The formality of the composition, framing, colours and visual dynamic are accentuated by the music of artist Liam Gillick. “The images in my films always play with concepts of the spectacle, of the commodity, of political power or power at large. The images use and play with a vocabulary of propaganda, so in a way the music becomes sutured to the image,” explains the artist. “As in all my films, the music is written by Liam Gillick and is not composed for the images. What Liam creates are units of music, a series of modalities autonomous from the images in their production. Improvisation is at play on many levels. Sometimes the music goes against the image and sometimes it goes with the image. This is up to me. It works like modalities in psychology. It is sort of an alchemy. There is an aspect of quotation in my films, like out-takes of a political unconscious of forms. In a way the images are already familiar to you even if you have never seen them like this before,” continues Morris.

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