About the Exhibition
Rebecca Morris: 2001–2022 presents a 21-year survey of painter Rebecca Morris (b. 1969, Honolulu, HI; lives in Los Angeles, CA), an artist best known for her large-scale paintings and inventive approach to composition, color, and gesture. One of the most formidable painters working today, Morris’s practice demonstrates a rigorous commitment to experimentation and abstraction. This exhibition, which originated at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, marks the artist’s first major museum survey since 2005.
Featuring a range of paintings produced since 2001 and showcasing the artist’s progression of styles and rigorous commitment to experimentation and abstraction, the exhibition includes 27 paintings. It highlights several formal tendencies that Morris has developed over the years, resulting in a distinct and recognizable visual language. Her arsenal of techniques includes erasure, dripping, and spray painting, applied to canvases lying flat on the floor in an active, physical process. Recurring motifs—such as atomization; the use of patterns, grids, and checkerboards; interlocking geometric forms; painted borders delimiting the picture plane; and her characteristic use of color, including metallic hues and saturated tones, are traced through groupings of works.
Morris’s dynamic paintings contain formal tensions and contradictions through their embrace of patterns and textures, and the visibility of the artist’s hand in every gesture. Her work pushes against the historical foundation of her chosen medium and offers a glimpse into new ways forward for the constantly evolving and expanded field of painting.
Rebecca Morris: 2001–2022 is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA). The exhibition is curated by Jamillah James, Manilow Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and former Senior Curator, ICA LA, with Caroline Ellen Liou, Curatorial Assistant. The presentation at the MCA is organized by James with Jack Schneider, Assistant Curator.
Hear from the Artist
Rebecca Morris speaks about color, painting problems, and the desire to continue producing work in this video produced in conjunction with the exhibition.
Produced by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 2023.
Lead support of the MCA Chicago presentation of Rebecca Morris: 2001-2022 is provided by the Harris Family Foundation in memory of Bette and Neison Harris, Zell Family Foundation, Cari and Michael Sacks, and R.H. Defares.
Major support is provided by DIOR, Jana and Bernardo Hees, Susie L. Karkomi and Marvin Leavitt, the Teiger Foundation, Robin Loewenberg Tebbe and Mark Tebbe, and Charlotte Cramer Wagner and Herbert S. Wagner III of the Wagner Foundation.
Generous support is provided by Andi and Jim Gordon, The Edgewater Funds.
This exhibition is supported by the Women Artists Initiative, a philanthropic commitment to further equity across gender lines and promote the work and ideas of women artists.
Major support for Rebecca Morris: 2001–2022 at ICA LA was provided by the Vera R. Campbell Foundation, Karen Hillenburg and Sebastian Clough, and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
Generous support was also funded by the Pasadena Art Alliance, Jane Hait and Justin Beal, Marla and Jeffrey Michaels, and Dori Peterman-Mostov and Charles Mostov.
Additional support was provided by Alexandra Cherubini and Camilo Alvarez, Christina H. Kang, and John Morace and Tom Kennedy.
ICA LA is supported by the Curator’s Council and Fieldwork Council.