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Institute of Contemporary Art, LA
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Rebecca Morris at the ICA LA


The painter Rebecca Morris is an LA fixture, a stalwart abstractionist and someone I quickly became aware of upon moving here in 2013. At first glance, her work appears vibrant and playful, but the viewer is quickly met with the rigor and order that underlies each of her paintings (grids, circles, frames-within-frames, and mark-making are some such devices the artist employs).

Rebecca Morris: 2001–2022, currently on view at the ICA LA, offers Angelenos the rare opportunity to view a large breadth of the artist’s work, tracking progressions and lineages within the language of her palette. Across the show, Morris’ conviction towards surface and color shines — many paintings have a dry, stucco-like surface on which patterns abut patterns within rigidly defined shapes accumulating across the canvas. Framing is a constant consideration, and many works have what appears to be silver soldering around their edges, like stained glass windows (these forms are in fact meticulously sculpted in paint, taped-off and then spray-painted to create their luminous sheen).

Morris’ work could certainly be described as painting about painting — she communes with past artists while inspiring current and future ones, delighting in the canvas as an almost holy site for color, pattern, and form to create new visions.

On view: October 1, 2022 – January 15, 2023

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Photo: Installation view, Rebecca Morris: 2001–2022. Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, October 1, 2022-January 15, 2023. Photo: Jeff McLane/ICA LA