Sarah Morris, 1967

WTC, 2016

Born in 1967 in Sevenoaks, Kent, U.K., Sarah Morris studied at Cambridge and Brown Universities between 1985 and 1989, then participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program. She received the Joan Mitchell Foundation award for painting in 2001. The artist lives and works in New York.

Morris draws inspiration from Pop, Minimalism, Conceptual art, and architecture. Her paintings often leverage abstraction to evoke the physical transfiguration of cities and its psychological effects. Working at a large scale, her distinctive aesthetic style is characterized, at times, by soft color tones surrounded by sharp white outlines, and at others, a captivating union of contrasting colors. The artist is also a filmmaker, and sees film and painting as complementary mediums, forming an integrated whole. Some of her films make reference to the architectural, industrial, and political aspects of cities, and others are about tragic events or situations told from the viewpoint of an individual.

In her paintings, Morris often prefers horizontal and vertical grid-like patterns, parallelograms, lines reminiscent of origami designs, and hard-edged geometries. Her geometric patterns involve mathematical calculations in complementary colors, producing a mechanical effect that conveys to the viewer a feeling of smoothness and perfection. She constructs virtual cities in her paintings, which are notable for their color and linear fluidity. In the painting “WTC”, the artist presents the viewer with a cross-section of the city, outlined in a similar style, with its roads and streets, and public and indoor spaces. The vividness of the colors is subdued by the black that circumscribes and surrounds them.




Household gloss on canvas

Credit Line

Istanbul Museum of Modern Art Collection