Review: The peculiar appeal of Rebecca Morris’ paintings, on view in L.A. at a press preview, is what makes them so difficult to pin down. A painter herself, she has long been a pioneer of this experimental style that, since it sprang up on Paris’ contemporary scene in the late 1980s and 90s, has been a rare, if not exclusive, feature of the emerging art scene.
More than any artist before her, Morris has been able to make the process of working in oils, and the resultant process of creation, simultaneously exciting and challenging. A work of her recent, and still not finished, series is called The Red Book.
It is a three-part painting of white, red and grey, each part appearing to be separate, but which is all part of a single composite.
In that sense, they all exist in the same space, are all part of a single narrative.
A single narrative where, according to Morris, the two subjects are not just the artist and the subject, but the two subjects have become one. This is a process of painting, not a painting.
While some artists like Morris are able to work in such a way, others, especially when a painter’s style becomes too insistent, or too much like their own, are simply unable to continue. With The Red Book there is no end to its progression, it just keeps coming.
This is a work that Morris is trying to make a piece of her own. This is not a work to be finished by others. This is not a work that you can finish, or even begin, with your own hands, or your own methods. This is a work in progress.
And when she is ready, the finished book that she wants to create will be displayed, not in a museum, but in a gallery, and on view to all.
The artist herself, and a gallery representative, were on hand at the press preview, to answer questions as to her style and her future plans.
She will, she said, be showing a