Artist Rebecca Morris side-by-side a detail of her painting

Rebecca Morris: UCLA Department of Art Lecture

Copresented by the UCLA Department of Art

Los Angeles-based painter Rebecca Morris makes large-scale paintings demonstrating a rigorous commitment to abstraction. Over her thirty-year career, Morris has explored fundamental elements of artmaking—brush marks, grids, surfaces—to make a singular body of work. Since 1994, Morris has been the subject of more than 25 solo exhibitions and has been included in over 145 group exhibitions at museums and galleries, including the 2016 iteration of the Hammer’s Made in L.A. biennial and the 2014 Whitney Biennial. A survey of Morris’s work appeared at ICA LA in 2022 and traveled to MCA Chicago this past fall.


Rebecca Morris (b.1969 Honolulu, Hawaii, lives and works in Los Angeles, CA) is known for her large-scale abstract paintings and an inventive approach to composition, color, and gesture. Working primarily with thin, matte washes of color juxtaposed with shimmering, metallic impasto, Morris’ practice demonstrates a rigorous commitment to experimentation, combining seemingly disparate patterns and motifs to generate exciting new outcomes and possibilities. Morris is currently the subject of a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. The exhibition, curated by Jamillah James, traveled from the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, where it first opened in the Fall of 2022. The 21-year survey of Morris’ practice is the artist’s first major museum survey since 2005. Accompanying the exhibition is a new monograph on Morris; a 288-page catalogue featuring essays by Jamillah James, Anthony Elms, Alex Jen, Camila McHugh, and Hamza Walker, published by Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and DelMonico Books. Other significant solo exhibitions of Morris’ work have been held at the Blaffer Art Museum, (2019); Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, Holland (2014); and The Renaissance Society, (2005). Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including Inherent Structure, Wexner Center for the Arts (2018); Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); and the 2014 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Other solo presentations include those at 356 Mission Rd. and LAXART, both in Los Angeles. Her work can be found in various, esteemed public collections, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Germany; Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, Netherlands; and DePaul Art Museum, Chicago. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Art, and Art Matters Inc., among others. Morris is represented by Regen Projects, Los Angeles; Bortolami Gallery, New York; Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago; and Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin. Morris received her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, her BA from Smith College and also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Morris is a Professor of Painting and Drawing in the Department of Art at UCLA where she is also currently serving as Vice Chair and Director of Undergraduate Instruction.


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