Robert Morris - Carte Blanche New York Sunday, November 7, 2010 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Leo Castelli Gallery, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    Robert Morris has been a central figure in the New York art scene since the mid sixties, when he played a central role as a founding member of the Minimal Art movement that centered around the Green Gallery. Reviewing in Arts Magazine Morris’s 1965 show at the Green Gallery, Donald Judd wrote that “Morris’s pieces are minimal visually, but they’re powerful spatially.”
    On the occasion of his first exhibition at Leo Castelli Gallery in 1967, Morris presented his ‘permutation’ works — minimal sculptures based on elements that were daily regrouped in order to calculate all possible configurations.
    During the summer of 1967, Morris was invited by collector John Powers to attend the Aspen Institute’s Artists and Scholars In Residence Program. It was while in Aspen that the artist turned his attention to industrial felt and realized his first works in this medium. The first piece he made in Aspen consisted of felt strips cut by children whom he had hired to work with him. Explaining the choice of felt as a medium, Morris said “Felt has anatomical associations, it relates to the body — it is skinlike. The way it takes form, with gravity, stress, balance, and the kinesthetic sense, I like all that.”
    Untitled, 1967, is one of Robert Morris’s earliest felts. Two layers of felt are juxtaposed on top of one another and hung eight feet high from the floor. Cuts run vertically through the felt, but they do not carry through to the bottom edge. The work takes on a new life and shape each time it is installed, answering to the gravity and the light of the space it occupies. As Morris writes in his now iconic essay ‘Anti Form’ published in 1968, “Random piling, loose stacking, hanging, give passing form to material… Chance is accepted and indeterminacy is implied since replacing will result in another figuration.”



Executed in 1967
Two layers of half inch grey felt, metal grommets.
85 x 70 in. (215.9 x 177.8 cm).

$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for $1,258,500

Carte Blanche

8 November 2010  6pm
New York