Thu 2 Nov 2023 to Sat 16 Dec 2023
Tue-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 11am-6pm
Artist: Annie Morris
Timothy Taylor presents Permanent Moments, an exhibition of new sculptures and tapestries by Annie Morris at our New York gallery. Morris’s work intersects a reflection on personal experience with explorations of volume, surface, and gravity, featuring intense, buoyant colour and feminine forms. The artist’s fourth exhibition at Timothy Taylor features monumental sculptures in both bronze and plaster alongside richly threaded tapestries.
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Morris describes the works in her Stacks series as sculptural paintings. Each comprises a totemic, vertical arrangement of irregularly shaped and brilliantly coloured spheres that appear to balance against all odds. In 2012, as the artist was grieving a stillbirth, she began drawing ovular shapes that referenced both eggs and the swell of pregnancy. Soon, she carved these forms from foam to reclaim the shape her body had lost and to make permanent an experience that was tragically fleeting. Assembling the orbs in improbable compositions on a steel armature, literally uplifting them, she cultivated monuments to defiance and hope.
The artist’s plaster and bronze sculptures offer various reflections on themes of impermanence and instability, often explored through the metaphorical resonance of her surfaces. For her plaster spheres, Morris experiments with layering grains of sand and plaster to create painterly surfaces in which the raw pigment is held in stasis, fresh and seemingly unset. The resulting texture emphasizes the fragility of her medium—appearing as if it might slake if disturbed—and yet harnesses the vital impact of the pure pigment. In this exhibition, she introduces hues of muted turquoise, lavender, and oxblood red to her signature palette of ultramarine blue, viridian, and ochre. Morris’s monumental new bronze sculptures include the artist’s first work using three orbs. Where the plaster works suggest ephemerality, the bronze sculptures appear impermeable and enduring; light plays over their patinated surfaces. Installed in the gallery, these sculptures enter into conversation with each other, taking on anthropomorphic aspects.
Morris’s tapestries, likewise titled Permanent Moments, begin with instinctual, automatic drawings. For many years, the artist has maintained a daily drawing practice from which a vocabulary of recurring images has emerged, including women depicted with the head of a flower, animals, grids, geometric shapes, and allusions to natural and urban elements. Together, these images reference themes of aging, anxiety, death, and the mother and child. Morris culls passages from these drawings and recombines them into new compositions, which she then translates onto canvas with thread. She employs numerous stitching techniques to conjure the effects and energies of painting, pastel, and charcoal. Mixing and overlaying colours, she achieves the surprising appearance of brushstrokes, washes, and vigorous gestures. In this way, she creates an expressive, spontaneous picture while employing a time-consuming and technical process.
Annie Morris was born in 1978 in London, where she lives and works today. She studied under Giuseppe Penone at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1997–2001) before completing her education at the Slade School of Fine Art in London in 2003. 2021 marked the artist’s first museum exhibition, with a solo presentation of sculptures and tapestries at Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s Weston Gallery. In 2023, she was commissioned by the Hepford Wakefield to create a permanent installation for the West Yorkshire History Centre. Her two-person exhibition with Idris Khan travelled from Newlands House Gallery, Petworth, to Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery, London, in October and will be on view through January 7, 2024. She will mount a solo exhibition at Fosun Foundation in Shanghai in the spring of 2024. Morris’s work resides in such collections as the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris France; the AmorePacific Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea; and the Hôtel de Crillon, Paris, France. In 2021, Claridge’s Hotel unveiled a site- specifc stained glass commission by the artist as part of the launch of The Painter’s Room.