Sarah Morris

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Sarah Morris
Paine Webber (with Neons), 1999
United Kingdom
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Sarah Morris
Paine Webber (with Neons), 1999
United Kingdom

Sarah Morris (born 1967) is an artist. Since the mid-1990s Morris has exhibited internationally.


Morris was born in Britain in 1967. She attended Brown University, Cambridge University, and the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program.[1]


Morris uses a conceptual strategy of duality in her films, which investigate both the surface of a city – its architecture and geography – as well as its ‘interior’: the psychology of its inhabitants and key players. To do this, Morris employs very different kinds of cinematography – from documentary recording to apparently narrative scenarios – which work as a method of visual distraction, a way of exploring the urban environment, and more particularly its issues of social power and representation.[2] In her films, Midtown (New York), 1998, AM/PM (Las Vegas), 1999, Capital (Washington D.C.), 2000, Miami, 2002, Los Angeles, 2004, and Beijing, 2008, Morris gives her attention to the special character of these exceptional places. Because of their particular cultural, commercial, and political configurations, the cities’ appearances differ markedly.[3] In the works, Morris treats each city as a self-referential system. Her work is a visualization of the almost imperceptible interweaving of power and daily urban routine. In Robert Towne (2006) and 1972 (2008), the lens shifts from a wide view of a city to an intimate portrait. She investigates the psychology, architecture and aesthetic of the city filtered through a complex character. Both films explored various ways of working in relation to the politics of the city.[4] Commissioned for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s ‘‘Modern Views’’ project, Points on a Line explores the intersecting histories (and upkeep requirements) of Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House and Philip Johnson’s Glass House.[5]


Sarah Morris Chimera, 2009, installation view. Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt

Morris has exhibited widely — at Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2009), Museo d’Arte Moderna, Bologna (2009), Fondation Beyeler, Riehan/Basel (2008), Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich (2008), Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2006), Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2005), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2005), Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (2005), Kunstforeningen, Copenhagen (2004), Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (2002), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2002), and Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2001), among others.[6]

Morris has developed site-specific projects for institutions internationally since 1999, including commissions at K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2010), Gateway School of Science, New York (2010), Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2009), Museo d’Arte Moderna, Bologna (2009), Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel (2008), Public Art Fund/Lever House (2006), Key Biscayne, Miami (2005), Palais de Tokyo (2005), UBS Zurich Headquarters (2001) and ICA, Boston (1999).


In 1999-2000, Morris was a Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. In 2001, she received a Joan Mitchell Foundation painting award.

Personal life[edit]

Robert Towne, 2006, installation view. Lever House, New York

Morris was married to fellow visual artist Liam Gillick.[7] They divorced in 2012.[8]



  1. ^ Gaby Wood, "Cinéma vérité", The Observer, 23 May 2004.
  2. ^ Woods, Scott, "Diagram of a Headache", Adam and Eve, March/April/May 2009.
  3. ^ ArtDaily, "Sarah Morris Black Beetle on View", ArtDaily, 31 May 2008.
  4. ^ Susanne Harpfer,, "Von verschwundenen Akten und wiedergekehrten Erinnerungen", Telepolis, 11 May 2008.
  5. ^ Sandra Ballentine (September 29, 2010), A Tale of Two Houses T: The New York Times Style Magazine.
  6. ^ Art Knowledge News, [1], 27 March 2010.
  7. ^ Gaby Wood, "Cinéma vérité," The Observer, May 23, 2004
  8. ^ "The Interview: Sarah Morris". Net A Porter. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  9. ^ The Barbican screening
  10. ^ The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
  11. ^ The Barbican screening
  12. ^ Modern Views
  13. ^ The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

Further Reading[edit]