Sarah Morris

Architectural landscapes meet abstract painting

Sarah Morris was born in London, England in 1967, and raised in Rhode Island, USA. She’s now based in New York, working from her studio in Long Island City.

Did you know?

Sarah Morris didn’t go to art school, instead she studied semiotics and political philosophy at university. This interest in symbolism and society informs the themes of her paintings.

Collections

Morris’ work is held in museum collections worldwide. These include MoMA and the Guggenheim (New York), Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam) and Tate Modern (London).

Follow up

Interested?
Sign up for all things Sarah Morris, including new collaborations and collecting opportunities.

Collaborations with Sarah Morris

Avant Arte and Sarah Morris have one upcoming collaboration.

Practice overview

People and places are at the core of Sarah Morris’ work. She takes urban landscapes – Rio, L.A., Beijing and Abu Dhabi – and channels the sensory information she feels into shapes and grids. Using household gloss paint on canvas, she fills geometric planes with flat colour. This creates new layers of information – each hue with its own associations. Morris is also known for her work as a non-narrative filmmaker, blending ink drawings and gouache paint to create posters for her works. She describes her films as collaborative and improvisational – a respite from the maths of making paintings. Pop art, minimalism and conceptualism have all played a part in her work. It’s also influenced by sociology and topology, as she explores how our locations impact our emotions.

The Spiderweb series, which Morris began during lockdown in 2021, looks at the fragility of a web's structure. In these paintings, she draws comparisons between webs and her cities, and their equal vulnerability. She also examines the different systems of power that affect how we encounter a city. She explains, "power is always in flux, unresolved and up for grabs". By breaking down urban environments into paintings, she suggests our cities may be permeable. Structures do not always mean solidity, and we have the power to change them. As Morris says, "a city is a fragile form, an ephemeral form".

“I see the paintings as a sort of a modality of how you think about the perception of time, the city, and the disorientation all around us.”Sarah Morris