Sarah Morris

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Sarah Morris
AM PM SM.jpg
Born 20 June 1967
Sevenoaks, Kent, England
Nationality British-American[1][2][3]
Education Brown University; Cambridge University
Known for painting, film

Sarah Morris (born 20 June 1967) is a British artist.[1][2][a] Since the mid-1990s Morris has exhibited internationally. She lives in New York.[2]

Personal life and education[edit]

Morris was born in Sevenoaks, Kent, in south-east England, on 20 June 1967.[3] She attended Cambridge University,[4] Brown University from 1985 to 1989, and the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program in 1989–90.[3] In 1999–2000, she was a Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin; in 2001, she received a Joan Mitchell Foundation painting award.[5] Morris was married to artist Liam Gillick;[4] they divorced in 2012.[6][not in citation given]


Morris creates both films and paintings. She sees the two media as interconnected, describing film and painting practices as “two sides of the same coin”. Her films and paintings are sometimes created simultaneously and may reference one another visually and thematically.[7] Morris is known for her abstract paintings that feature bright color fields and graphic line work. Her paintings often reference elements of architecture and take titles from bureaucratic institutions.[8]

Morris makes films that focus on particular cities or individuals. Films like Midtown, Chicago, and Rio depict urban scenes, focusing on the architecture, politics, industry and leisure.[9] Other films describe a place through the viewpoint of an individual, like psychologist Dr. George Sieber describing the terrorist event at the Olympic Stadium in Munich in the film 1972.[10]

In 2011 Morris was sued by a group of six origami artists, including Robert J. Lang. They alleged that in 24 works in her "Origami" series of paintings Morris had without permission or credit copied their original crease patterns, coloured them, and sold them as "found" or "traditional" designs.[1] Morris acknowledged that she used the crease patterns as a "launch pad" for her paintings. Julie A. Ahrens, Director of Copyright and Fair Use at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society and the rest of her legal team "struggled to pin down the aesthetic value of the CPs" (crease patterns) from a copyright and fair use perspective.[11] The case was settled out of court early in 2013; under the settlement, the creators of the crease patterns are to be given credit when the works are displayed.[12][13]


Morris has had solo shows at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin (2001),[14] Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2005),[15] Fondation Beyeler in Basel (2008),[16] Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt (2009),[17] Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna (2009),[18] and Musée National Fernand Léger (fr) in Biot (2012).[19]

She has created site-specific works for institutions including the Lever House,[20] Kunsthalle Bremen in Germany [21] and the Gloucester Road tube station in London.[22]

Kunsthalle Bremen in Germany,[21] Gloucester Road tube station in London,[22] Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf[23] and the Museum der Moderne in Salzburg, Austria.[24][not in citation given]

Robert Towne, 2006. Lever House, Manhattan

She has had film showings at institutions including the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris (Strange Magic),[25] the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (Chicago),[26] Sotheby's in New York (Points on a Line),[27] the Barbican Centre in London (Beijing, Midtown),[28] the Guggenheim in New York (Midtown, AM/PM, Capital, Miami, Los Angeles) [29] and the Centre Pompidou (Midtown, AM/PM, Capital, Miami, Los Angeles).[30]



  • Midtown (1998)[31]
  • AM/PM (1999)[31]
  • Capital (2000)[31]
  • Miami (2002)[31]
  • Los Angeles (2004)[31]
  • Robert Towne (2006)[31]
  • 1972 (2008)[31]
  • Beijing (2008)[32]
  • Points on a Line (2010)[33]
  • Chicago (2011)[34]
  • Rio (2012)[35]
  • Strange Magic (2014)[36]


  1. ^ Sources are mixed in reporting her nationality; Grove Art says that she is "American ... of English birth".[3]


  1. ^ a b c Dalya Alberge (5 June 2011). Tate artist Sarah Morris 'unfolded' our works, claim leading origami designers. The Observer. Accessed March 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Alison Cuddy (17 December 2013). City Self exhibition attempts a portrait of Chicago. WBEZ91.5. Accessed April 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Francis Summers (2001–14). Morris, Sarah. Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Accessed May 2015. (subscription required)
  4. ^ a b Gaby Wood (23 May 2004). "Cinéma vérité". The Observer. Accessed March 2014.
  5. ^ Werner Miester (27 March 2010). Best Works by Sarah Morris on View at Gallery Meyer Kainer. Art Knowledge News. Archived 30 March 2010.
  6. ^ "The Interview: Sarah Morris". Net A Porter. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "MoMA". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "Interview: Sarah Morris - Magazine - Art in America". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  10. ^ Erskine Design. "Frieze Magazine - Archive - Archive - Sarah Morris". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  11. ^ Dan Duray. "Beneath the Fold: The Twisted Tale of Origami v. Sarah Morris". Observer. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  12. ^ Dan Duray (28 May 2013). Beneath the Fold: The Twisted Tale of Origami v. Sarah Morris. Gallerist. Accessed March 2014.
  13. ^ Sarah Morris Works Attribution. Robert J. Lang origami. Accessed April 2014.
  14. ^ "DNB, Katalog der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek". Katalog der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Tokyonews 76". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  16. ^ Sarah Morris: Black Beetle; June 1 - September 7, 2008
  17. ^ Erhard Metz (3 June 2009). Sarah Morris: Gemini Dressage. Feuilleton Frankfurt. Accessed May 2015.
  18. ^ "Sarah Morris "China 9, Liberty 37"". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  19. ^ Sarah Morris: Mechanical Ballet; November 17, 2012 - March 4, 2013[dead link]
  20. ^ Schlesinger, Toni. "Wonderful Towne! Lever House Hosts Homage to Screenwriter". The Observer. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  21. ^ a b "Kunsthalle Bremen - Current exhibitions - Exhibitions". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  22. ^ a b Coline Milliard (12 June 2012). Sarah Morris On Taking Big Ben Underground at London's Gloucester Road Tube Station. ArtInfo. Archived 18 December 2014.
  23. ^ Sarah Morris: Hornet, 2010: K20 Grabbeplatz (in German). Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. Accessed April 2015.
  24. ^ "Museum der Moderne: Sarah Morris". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  25. ^ "La collection Sarah Morris". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  26. ^ Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. "CITY SELF - MCA Chicago". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  27. ^ "A Project to Benefit The Farnsworth House and Glass House". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  28. ^ "Barbican - Beijing (U*) (UK Premiere) + Sarah Morris". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  29. ^ "Guggenheim Museum - Exhibitions - The Shapes of Space". 1 April 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  30. ^ "L'évènement Sarah Morris - Centre Pompidou". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  31. ^ a b c d e f g Rabinowitz, Cay Sophie. "Interview: Sarah Morris". Art in America. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  32. ^ Sherwin, Skye. "Artist Sarah Morris's Latest Film Beijing". Wallpaper. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  33. ^ Moshayedi, Aram. "Looking Glass". Artforum. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  34. ^ Cuddy, Alison. "City Self exhibition attempts a portrait of Chicago". WBEZ91.5. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  35. ^ Johnson, Paddy; Leifheit, Matthew. "Orange: Sarah Morris at Petzel Gallery". Artfcity. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  36. ^ Kawahito, Wakana. "Fondation Louis Vuitton". SHIFT. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Michael Archer. "Sarah Morris", Artforum, May 2009, p. 170
  • Nick Haymes, "Sarah Morris", Art Review, May 2009, pp. 70–7
  • Hans Ulrich Obrist, "Sarah Morris", Adam & Eve, March/April/May 2009, pp. 78–91
  • Eric Banks, "Seeing Red", Men's Vogue, August 2008, pp. 114–119
  • Adrian Searle, "Dazzled by the Rings", The Guardian, July 30, 2008
  • Christopher Turner, "Beijing City Symphony", Modern Painters, July/August 2008, pp. 56–59
  • Marcus Verhagen, "Nomadism", Art Monthly October 2006
  • Tanja Widmann, "To Offer You Something", Texte Zur Kunst, September 2006, pp. 248–251
  • Ezra Petronio and Stephanie Moisdon, "Bar Nothing by Sarah Morris", Self Service, Issue No.21, Fall/Winter 2004, pp. 302–315
  • Art Now (25th Anniversary Edition), edited by Uta Grosenick, Burkhard Riemschneider, Taschen, pp. 196–199, 2005