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Press Release


Opening reception: Friday, February 16, 6-8 pm

Friedrich Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of a solo exhibition of new works by Sarah Morris. The show will consist of new paintings from her current series, Beijing, and a new film titled "Robert Towne".

The new paintings focus on the city of Beijing, the site for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. Morris' next film will document the games and a city as it undergoes dynamic change. Architecture, the role of the state, and the aesthetic tension between the commercial and the political will be at the heart of the new project.

There are two sets of paintings being developed in parallel to each other in relation to Beijing: "Rings" and "Origami".

The "Rings" series takes as its main reference point the city's increasingly congested traffic arteries known as the "Ring Roads". The "1st Ring Road" was named at the end of the Cultural Revolution. The original names of the roads had been changed to express the strong political propaganda required to eulogize and advocate the ideology of the Cultural Revolution. When the political turmoil ended, the names had to be changed again. The ring roads may be seen as analogous to the Olympic rings and the upcoming event that is changing the face of the city.

The "Origami" series is based on found diagrams. It is commonly accepted that origami originated in China with the advent of paper in the 1st century AD and then spread to Japan in 600AD. Contemporary applications of origami range from the continuation of ancient traditions, such as folding 1000 paper cranes in order to realize a wish, to mathematical and engineering solutions. Origami in popular culture, particularly film, is often used to signify an impending event. It is a simple process which gives rise to complex forms.

"Robert Towne", 2006, is the sixth film directed by Sarah Morris. Robert Towne is the legendary screenwriter and "script doctor" who won an Academy Award for "Chinatown" (1974) and has written and directed many notable films. The lens shifts from a wide view of a city to an intimate portrait. Morris' interview topics range from "Chinatown" (1974) and the role of authorship to Towne's relationship with colleagues such as Robert Evans, Warren Beatty and Pauline Kael. He speaks openly about conspiracy, paranoia, corruption, and power.

Towne, is best known for his screenplays, which include "Chinatown" (1974), "Shampoo" (1975) and "Personal Best" (1982), and for restructuring and doctoring such films as "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967), "Godfather" (1972) and "The Parallax View" (1974). His works are marked by their moral ambivalence, realistic dialogue and ruthless dissection of cruel and corrupt systems of social authority. Morris describes him as "an elliptical figure" whose career exemplifies a certain characteristic mode of working typified by collaboration, behind-the-scenes influence, and shared or changing roles.

The exhibition will open on February 16, with a reception from 6 - 8 p.m., and will remain on view through March 17. Friedrich Petzel Gallery is located at 537 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011. For more information, please contact the gallery at 212-680-9467 or


Born in the U.K. in 1967, Sarah Morris lives and works in New York and London. She attended Brown University, Cambridge University, and the Whitney Museum of American Art's Independent Study Program. She received the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painting Award in 2001, and in 1999-2000 was an American Academy Award, Berlin Prize Fellow. Notable exhibitions include The Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2006), Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2005), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2005), Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (2005), Kunstforeningen, Copenhagen (2004), Miami MOCA (2002), Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C. (2002), and Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2001).

Morris' temporary installation, "Robert Towne" at Lever House, has been extended through Spring 2007. Commissioned by the Public Art Fund, "Robert Towne" was painted directly on the ground-level ceiling, and covers the entire cross section of the building, encompassing both its indoor lobby and outdoor courtyard. Lever House is located on Park Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets.

For further information, please contact the gallery at, or call (212) 680-9467.