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Sarah Morris


Published on the occasion of the groundbreaking, multi-disciplinary retrospective organized by Deichtorhallen Hamburg, All Systems Fail presents the most comprehensive overlook on Sarah Morris’ expansive oeuvre to date. For the past 30 years, the British painter and filmmaker has refined a visual vocabulary informed by the politics of place, power, and the built environment. Starting her career working near Times Square, New York’s infamous nexus of technology, capital, and calamity, Morris became inspired to utilize experiences and photographs of the cityscape as source material. With further foundations in the 1990s art scenes of New York, London and Cologne, Morris’ abstract impulse and architectural fragmentation epitomize a rich formal sensibility grounded in an array of references and influences.

The artist continues to invoke a pyscho-geographic approach in constructing her glossy surfaces and geometric compositions, crafting an atmospheric experience for the viewer. In this way, Morris’ works immerse us in the visual codes of global city life, with subjects ranging from multinational corporations, the Olympics, stem cell technologies, transportation networks, lunar cycles, and more. The first major publication on Morris’ practice, this catalog features over 60 paintings, numerous drawings, and extensive documentation of her filmic and site-specific works. The monograph has been published in German and English, and includes newly commissioned essays by Bettina Funcke and Asad Raza, and an interview by Christopher Bollen.

Published by Hatje Cantz in 2023.


About the artist

Sarah Morris (b. 1967, London, U.K.)

Sarah Morris is an internationally recognized painter and filmmaker, known for her complex abstractions, which play with architecture and the psychology of urban environments. Morris views her paintings as parallel to her films - both trace urban, social and bureaucratic topologies. In both these media, she explores the psychology of the contemporary city and its architecturally encoded politics. Morris studied at Brown University where she received a BA in 1989, and at Cambridge. She was a participant in the Whitney Independent Study Program.

Sarah Morris lives and works in New York and London. She received the Aurelie Nemours Prize in 2020, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painting Award in 2001, and in 1999-2000 was an American Academy Award Berlin Prize Fellow.

She has exhibited extensively internationally, with solo exhibitions at White Cube, London (2019); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2018); Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Espoo, Finland (2017); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2016); Museum Leuven, Leuven (2015); Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2014); Kunsthalle Bremen, Bremen (2013); the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio (2012); Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna (2009); Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2009); Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel (2008); 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 has upcoming solo exhibitions at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg and Kunstmuseum Krefeld in 2023, and at the Kunstmuseum Bern and Kunstmuseum Stuttgart in 2024.

Sarah Morris’ work is in many public collections such as British Council, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Modern, London; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.