"Machines Do Not Make Us Into Machines" Exhibition at the White Cube

"Machines Do Not Make Us Into Machines" Exhibition at the White Cube

Sarah Morris is known for her pieces that are heavily influenced by Minimalism, Pop, Conceptual Art, and architecture and design / frankies via Shutterstock

 

Art exhibitions are wonderful platforms to venture into different subjects or topics through various art forms. Artists explore concepts and subjects that have never been explored before, making them more significantly unique. A perfect example of this is a recent exhibition by Sarah Morris. 

Morris, a British-born painter and filmmaker who lives and works in New York and London, has exhibited her artworks for years. She is known for her pieces that are heavily influenced by Minimalism, Pop, Conceptual Art, and architecture and design. Most of the large paintings she has created feature geometric forms that represent both the psychology and physicality of cities. Morris not only excels in art but also in filmmaking. In fact, she has produced and directed non-narrative films that focus on the architecture and life of cities. 

The artist has had solo exhibitions in the past years featuring her fascinating artworks. Most of these shows were held in prestigious establishments such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, and Philadelphia Museum of Art. Morris was also involved in group shows at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Center Pompidou in Paris. 

Morris' most recent exhibition is being held in the White Cube in London. Launched on April 27, the show is the first solo exhibition of the artist in the United Kingdom after six years. It also serves as a sort of homecoming for the Kent-born artist. 

Morris' solo exhibition at the White Cube reflects the artist's interest in networks, typologies, architecture, language, and the city / Matt Brown via Flickr

 

Sarah Morris: Life and Career

Morris has been creating abstract paintings and films since the mid-1990s. For the artist, it is her way of investigating what she describes as “urban, social and bureaucratic typologies." Born on June 20, 1967, Morris was raised in Sevenoaks, Kent, in southeast England. She attended Cambridge University and Brown University, where she received a degree in Philosophy and Semiotics, from 1985 to 1989. After that, she enrolled in the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art from 1898 to 1990. 

According to an article by the White Cube, Morris started her career creating graphic paintings that were mostly created in the same format and language of popular advertisements and newspapers. The city-based paintings she creates are done in household gloss paint on square canvases, showing rigorous, all-over grids that are inspired by architectural signs, motifs, or urban vistas. The artworks are known for their vivid colors that are derived from a certain city's palette, vocabulary, and dynamic. 

Most of the time, Morris creates films that employ different kinds of cinematography, intending to seduce and alienate the viewers. For instance, in her film entitled "Los Angeles," she explored an industry fuelled by fantasy. At the same time, she also examined the trenchant relationship between talent, director, producer, and the studio. 

Additionally, most of Morris's paintings explore the cultural, social, and economic environment of a certain city or place. She normally observes the vibrations and dynamism that are unique to each urban center and incorporates these into her artworks. She is also known for exploring the relationship between conceptual signs and physical signifiers. As Morris once said: "It all comes down to production. The production of space, the production of brands, the production of art. The production of dreams and desire, paradoxically intangible at the end of the day."

"Machines Do Not Make Us Into Machines" Exhibition

Launched last April 17 and open until June 30, Morris' solo exhibition at the White Cube reflects the artist's interest in networks, typologies, architecture, language, and the city. Throughout her career, she has been drawn to these kinds of subjects, from GPS technologies, psychology, and mapping to American corporate identities and graphics. Most of the time, she explores systems of flow within cities, whether that be commuters, production, vehicles, pedestrians, or currencies. 

In the Machines Do Not Make Us Into Machines exhibition, Morris features her paintings and films that reflect her interest. In an interview with Town and Country, the artist said, “I’ve always been attracted to cities. I knew I was going to move to New York and I was always interested in that grid and that noise and all the unknown narratives. You are constantly surrounded by vectors – obviously people, but cars, currency, and things moving all around. Nothing is fixed. Everything is in flux and that is the beauty of the city.”

According to the White Cube, Morris' new series of ‘Sound Graph’ paintings are exhibited in the area, too. This series explores the language of American abstraction, pop, and minimalism. Aside from that, the show also features her more recent experiment with audio technology through her enormous wall painting called "Ataraxia." The title of the work was derived from a philosophical concept concerning a state of tranquility or extreme calm. 

An article by Wallpaper also states that Morris will also showcase her new sculpture called "What can be explained can also be predicted." It was made with lacquered modular scientific glass and designed to distort perceptions of interior and exterior landscapes. This piece is regarded as her 'first sculpture'.