Sarah Morris: Bar Nothing

Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin 2004

‘As someone who travels a lot, I have the sensation that Morris’s work is neither a travelogue nor a formal exercise in reduction. It seems to be more a form of portraiture and, strangely, nineteenth century portraiture at that – lumber barons, textile mill owners and ranchers, all of them exuberant and glossy, plump and enjoying the spoils of industrialised capitalism. In Morris’s civic portraiture, she creates not depictions of plutocrats and their chinless offspring – she instead generates the public faces of Revlon, the Flamingo, Creative Artists Agency and the Bank of America. The viewer approaches these portraits as outsiders. Viewers are down on Madison Avenue or the Strip, looking up at the grids. Viewers are also playing a game in their heads as they do so, wondering just who sits behind the windows, and what sort of dramas are occurring there – a hostile take-over or maybe just a copier in need of a new toner cartridge. A full spectrum of human behaviour is plausible. This internal imagining is natural and human, but with Morris, the viewer is taken far further. Social critique is happening, but whether or not this critique is censorious is left open-ended. For example, the gloss colour Morris employs also add confusion to the nature of her critique. Happy colours or deflectively happy colours? Is the optical slickness implying a sterile environment that cradles medically diagnosable behavioural pathologies? Or maybe it simply means Casual Fridays and a good maternity package.’

D. Coupland, ‘Behind the Glass Curtain’, in Sarah Morris: Bar Nothing, exh. cat., Berlin: Galerie Max Hetzler, 2004, pp. 5–6

Publisher: Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin
Publication date: 2004
Binding: Hardcover
Dimensions: 24 x 28 x 1.3 cm
Pages: 87
ISBN: 0-9546501-1-5

€ 35.00

Related Exhibition

Sarah Morris

Bar Nothing (catalogue) Paintings Zimmerstraße 90/91, Berlin-Mitte September 10 – October 16, 2004 Film installation

Holzmarktstraße 15-18, Berlin-Mitte


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