Ree Morton

1936Ossining, United States | 1977Chicago, United States
Informations
Ree Morton — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York

Sponsor
— Alexander and Bonin Gallery

Artiste multimédia américaine.

It was the “Wack! Art and the Feminist Revolution” exhibition (Los Angeles, 2007; Vienna, 2008; New York, 2009) that rekindled interest in the work of this artist, who died prematurely at the age of 41. Aborted nursing studies, three kids, an often absent Marine officer husband, frequent moves: Ree Morton’s artistic practice only truly began in 1966, during her studies at the University of Rhode Island, and following her divorce, at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, which she graduated from in 1970. Her insolent works defy categorisation and turn their nose at the “masters”. She defined space as the addition of “air to an object,” and as a space for activity and engagement. She used wood for her raw drawings, simple structures assembled with nails and ribbed with lines or red, black or green spots. Later, she would call upon a larger variety of spaces and materials in her installations, namely sticks and branches joined by painted lines and dots on walls or on the ground, which lend them a near-ritualistic or primitive context.

She also took interest in the psychology of space, real or imaginary topographies, the interaction between humans and industrial archaeology, as in the myth of the first house. She participated in the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, 1973), which would host, the following year, the only solo exhibition that took place during her lifetime. The artist also became a teacher, discovered Grotowski’s experimental theatre, and became friends with Cynthia Carlson (1942), before moving to New York. Starting in 1973, she extended her work towards more metaphorical concerns: her Sister Perpetua’s Lie (1973) installation was inspired by Raymond Roussel’s Impressions of Africa; she discovered, among other things, uses for celastic, a material that enabled her to make emblems, types of ribbons, banners, or flags, decorated with mottos and floral coats of arms – as can be seen in the Signs of Love (1976) installation, which celebrates intellectual and emotional vitality.

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Élisabeth Lebovici

Translated from French by Toby Cayouette.

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
Ree Morton — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Ree Morton, For Kate, 1976, oil on wood and wire and enamel on celastic, dimensions variable, Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York, © Estate Ree Morton, © Photo: Joerg Lohse

Ree Morton — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Ree Morton, Drawings for Manipulations of the Organic, 1977, pencil on seven sheets of vellum, each: 35.5 x 43 cm, 14 x 17 in., Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York, © Estate Ree Morton

Ree Morton — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Ree Morton, Untitled, 1968-1970, graphite on masonite, 41.9 x 59.7 cm, 16 1/2 x 23 1/2 in., Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York, © Estate Ree Morton, © Photo: Bill Orcut

Ree Morton — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Ree Morton, Column Piece, 1972, acrylic, charcoal, and watercolor on canvas and wood, casters, 35.5 x 406 x 554 cm, 14 x 160 x 218 in., Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York, © Estate Ree Morton, © Photo: Joerg Lohse

Ree Morton — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Ree Morton, Ring, 1974, watercolor, pencil, and canvas on wood, 50 x 61 x 61 cm, 18 ½ x 24 x 24 in. Overall, Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York, © Estate Ree Morton, © Photo: Joerg Lohse

Ree Morton — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Ree Morton, Untitled (“Line” Drawing), ca. 1968-1970, pencil on paper, 61 x 48.3 cm, 24 x 19 in., Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York, © Estate Ree Morton, © Photo: Joerg Lohse

Ree Morton — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Ree Morton, Something in the Wind, 1975, ca. 100 flags: acrylic and felt-tip pen on nylon, South Street Seaport Museum, New York, 1975, Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York, © Estate Ree Morton

Ree Morton — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Ree Morton, To Each Concrete Man, 1974, acrylic, pencil, wood, paper, rawhide, vinyl, canvas, metal, light bulbs and electrical fixtures, dimensions variable, exhibition view: The Deities Must be Made to Laugh. Works 1971-1977, Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York, © Estate Ree Morton, © Photo : Markus Wörgötter

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