Sprüth Magers are presenting a new exhibition of sculpture by American artist Robert Morris, in his first solo show in London in four years. The exhibition will focus on Morris’s diverse use of media, which here oscillates between soft, hanging felt and rigid, standing plywood. In addition, the presentation at Spruth Magers London will explore how the artist activates performative and self-reflective modes of perception in the viewer, through the specific spatial arrangement of the works.
Considered one of the most important American artists of the post-war generation, Robert Morris’s interdisciplinary work, which extends from objects, sculptures and drawings through performances all the way to films and texts, explores the relationship between art, gesture and the body. The artist assumed a visible position in determining both the objectives and the tenor of Minimalism in America in the 1960’s, detaching himself early on from a rigid concept of the work of art as an autonomous object and addressing above all the process of artistic production which he displayed as an essential component of his works. An involvement with the Judson Dance Theatre in New York during this period gave rise to a significant aspect of his oeuvre: a consideration of the viewer which focuses on the temporal perception of sculpture by means of bodily movement through space. This notion of a self constituted in experience rather than an as a c ontained whole relates to his engagement with post modern dance, an activity where selfhood is neither stable nor constant but emerges in time for both the performers and viewer.
At the centre of the exhibition will be Morris’s seminal Untitled (Three L’s) (1965), consisting of three large L shaped polyhedrons in plywood, arranged anthropomorphically in positions relative to the floor; one upended, one lying on its side, one inverted. While the logic of the forms uniformity is clear, the variability of their positioning prevents seeing them as the same. Morris therefore demands the viewer to set aside their preconceptions, memory and knowledge, and approach the sculpture from a level of basic perception in order to grasp the reality of the experience.