Robert Morris (American, b.1931), born in Kansas City, MO, originally studied engineering before transitioning to art and art criticism. In 1966, he earned an MA from Hunter College in New York City, NY, having written a thesis on Constantin Brancusi. While living in San Francisco, CA in the 1950s, Morris developed an interest in dance, partially due to the influence of his wife, Simone Forti, a dancer and choreographer. In 1959, Morris moved to New York, where he continued to choreograph experimental dance pieces for the Judson Dance Theater. During the 1960s and 1970s, Morris contributed significantly to the emergence of several art movements, including Minimalism , Process Art, and Earthworks. Morris'''' first Minimalist forms were constructed as props to accompany dance performances, and through their simple structure, they expressed the Judson group''''s accentuation of the relationship between form and function. In the late 1960s, Morris began using more industrial materials, such as aluminum and steel, for sculptural works, and became one of the primary proponents of Process Art through his use of formable materials such as felt, string, mirrors, and dirt to create ephemeral works of art. In the 1970s and 1980s, Morris resumed drawing and painting, and experimented with drawing while blindfolded, among other artistic projects. His works have been exhibited at numerous venues, including the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Morris currently lives and works in New York.

Timeline

1931
Born in Kansas City Missouri, USA.
1948–1950
Studies at the Kansas City Art Institute and the University of Kansas City
1950–1951
Studies at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco
1962
Graduate studies in Art History at Hunter College; studies with Ad Reinhardt
1964
Begins teaching Art History at Hunter College
1998
Appointed Distinguished Professor of Art, Hunter College, New York.

Exhibitions

2003
The Lemma LeadsM, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York
Blind Time Drawings, Haim Chanin Fine Arts, New York.
2001–2002
Finch College Project, 1969, recreated and installed in the Whitney Museum exhibition “Into the Light,”
2002
Drawings, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York.
Melencolia II, a permanent site-specific installation in marble, Collaboration with Claudio Parmiggiani, Collection of Giuliano Gori, Fattoria di Celle, Santomato, Pistoia, Italy.
Hegel’s Owl, a permanent site-specific installation in Carrara, Italy.
2000
Robert Morris: Early Felts, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York.
White Nights, Le Musée d’art contemporain, Lyon, France.
Fiberglass, Lead, Felt 1963-1966, Ileana Sonnabend Gallery, New York.
1999
Robert Morris: Retrospective of Prints and Multiples 1952-1998, Maison Levanneur, Centre national de l'estampe et de l'art imprimé, Chatou, France.
Labyrinth, Le Musée d'art contemporain, Lyon, France.
1997–1998
Steel sculptures, Pietro Sparta Gallery, Chagny, France
1998
Robert Morris: Retrospective of Prints and Multiples 1952-1998, Cabinet des estampes du Musée d'art et d'histoire, Geneva, Switzerland.
Mirror Works and the film Mirror, 1969, Le Musée d'art contemporain, Lyon, France.
Robert Morris: The Rationed Years and Other New Work, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York.
1997
Horizons Cut: Between Clio and Mnemosyne, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York.
Tar Babies of the New World Order, Nuova Icona, Venice, Italy.
1995
Mirrors, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Mass. Work in the collection of Williams College Museum of Art.
Robert Morris: The Mind/Body Problem, Retrospective Exhibition, the Deichtorhallen Museum, Hamburg, Germany.
Steam, site-specific work filling the interior courtyard of the Musée d’art contemporain, Bordeaux, France.
Tempora Caeca, installation of wall drawings and Blind Time IV: Drawing with Davidson, 1991, Fattoria di Celle, Santomato, Pistoia, Italy.
Robert Morris: The Mind/Body Problem, Retrospective Exhibition, Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.

Literature

1998
TELEGRAM / THE RATIONED YEARS, published by JRP Editions, Geneva, Switzerland.
1993
Publication of Continuous Project Altered Daily: The Writings of Robert Morris, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press.
1966
February – 'Notes on Sculpture,' published in Artforum.