Carpintaria is pleased to announce Sarah Morris’s third solo show in Brazil. The artist presents new paintings as well as drawings on iconic film posters. The exhibition title, Today we find ourselves at an impasse, derives from one of the titles of her new Sound Graph paintings in which the artist employs an architecture of vivid abstract forms, engaging the viewer’s sense of visual recognition and coding.
Morris’s most recent Sound Graph series derives from audio-recorded fragments of conversations. The Sound Graphs are envisioned and interpreted in enamel on canvas, expanding the artist’s vocabulary of language, technology and surveillance. Speech becomes an image, reimagined by the artist. The works are titled after various sources: from a well-known quotation of Tristes Tropiques (1995) by anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss – also referenced in Caetano Veloso’s song Fora de Ordem – to the infamous dialogue between ex-senator Romero Jucá and businessman Sérgio Machado right before President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment in 2016. The paintings employ a vast range of references from architecture to industrial design, iconography of maps, language, sociological diagrams, system and game theory.
Morris also depicts the lunar calendar in a colored grid that marks the real time month and context of the exhibition. August 2019 [Rio] is part of this ongoing series. In Digits, a painting based on the intensity and poetry of Niemeyer’s hands, the concentric composition suggests illusion and its solutions. Drawing inspiration from Roberto Burle Marx, Lina Bo Bardi, Oscar Niemeyer, fruits and even Bossa Nova album covers, her canvases are made up of brilliant compositions whose curves, vectors and interlocking spheres reference the sharp contrasts of Brazil’s many social forms.
Highlighting the tension between fiction and reality, images and abstraction, Morris also uses ink and gouache to draw on iconic film posters, such as All the President’s Men (1976) by legendary American director, Alan J. Pakula. The plot follows journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein who investigate and expose the Watergate scandal for the Washington Post that eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, establishing a striking connection to the paintings in her Sound Graph series shown. Interestingly, it was Nixon’s voice recorded in his audiotapes that ultimately brought him down.
Since the mid 1990s, Morris has held a close relationship with Brazil through frequent visits and participations in biennials and exhibitions. In 2002, the British-American artist was part of the 25th Bienal de Sao Paulo curated by Alfons Hug. She took part in the group show A Nova Geometria curated by Adriano Pedrosa at Galeria Fortes Vilaça in Sao Paulo the following year. In 2012, her interest in the country led to her eleventh film Rio shot in Rio de Janeiro which was filmed in numerous locations including the office of architect Oscar Niemeyer just before his death, the headquarters’ of the city’s Mayor Eduardo Paes, the Carnival “Winner’s Parade” at Sambódromo, and Cidade de Deus, the “City of God” neighborhood. This film was co-produced by Fortes Vilaça and White Cube, and was screened in 2013 at the solo show Bye Bye Brazil in London and in 2015 in Sao Paulo simultaneously at both galleries.
Sarah Morris was born in 1967 in the UK and lives and works in New York. Noteworthy solo shows include: Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, (Beijing, 2018); Espoo Museum of Modern Art (Finland, 2017); M-Museum (Leuven, Belgium, 2015); Kunsthalle Bremen (Bremen, 2013); Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, 2012); Fondation Beyeler (Basel, 2008); Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam, 2006); Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2005); Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin, 2001); and Modern Art Oxford (UK, 1999). Among participations in group exhibitions, highlights include: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, 2017); Tate Triennial, Tate Britain (London, 2003); 25th Bienal de São Paulo (2002); and 4th Site Santa Fe Biennial (New Mexico, 2001).