Robert Morris

  • Born 1931 in Kansas City, MO, USA

Robert Morris is a central figure of Minimalism, process art and performance. Prior to moving to New York in 1960, where he received an art history degree from Hunter College in 1966, Morris studied engineering, art and philosophy in Kansas City, San Francisco and Portland. He was drafted into the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1952. Although he first practiced painting, Morris’s then-wife Simone Forti (b. 1935) introduced him to dance and performance in California in the 1950s. Morris’s subsequent work considered sculpture in the context of space and time. Morris and Forti collaborated with the postmodern Judson Dance Theater in the early 1960s. In 1963, Morris mounted his first solo exhibition of Minimalist sculpture—reviewed by Donald Judd (1928–1994)—at New York’s Green Gallery. The following year, Morris showed gray-painted polyhedron sculptures at the same space, focusing on the spatial relations between the objects and the viewer. In 1966, he published his “Notes on Sculpture” in Artforum and participated in the exhibition Primary Structures at New York’s Jewish Museum. Later in the decade he introduced more flexible materials like felt into his work. In 1969 he produced an ephemeral installation for Anti-Illusion: Procedures/Materials at the Whitney Museum. Eventually, Morris became a pioneer of Land Art and Conceptualism.

Artworks by Robert Morris in the exhibition