Robert Morris - Contemporary Art Part I New York Wednesday, May 11, 2011 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin; Sale: Sotheby’s, New York, Contemporary Art Day Sale, May 11, 2006, lot 492; Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Felt has anatomical associations; it relates to the body—it’s skinlike. The way it takes form, with gravity, stress, balance, and the kinesthetic sense, I liked all that.”

    (Morris quoted in an interview with Paul Patton, “The Fire next Time” reproduced in Art News , no. 10, December 1983, p. 50)

    The present lot belongs to Robert Morris’ series of pieces made from industrial felt, a material he began working with in 1967. Works such as this combine the simple geometry of Minimalism with the looseness of Abstract Expressionism—the felt is adhered to the wall in precise patterns, but then is left to hang downward or tangle on the floor at random. As such, Morris’s felts represent a break from his stark, more architectural metal and wood pieces. They subvert the growing austerity of the Minimalist movement, which Morris himself belonged to, and instead favor a combination of precision and softness. The draping of the felt strips in the present lot is soft yet their hanging arrangement is calculated, bridging artistic styles and creating a composition that is simultaneously architectural and fluid.



Industrial brown felt and metal grommets in two parts.
Overall 94 3/4 x 73 in. (240.7 x 185.4 cm.)

$300,000 - 500,000 

Contemporary Art Part I

12 May 2011
New York