The daughter of an experimental music composer father and an arts-focused mother, Morris was interested in systems, grids, and structured forms from an early age. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1994, where she studied with a number of Chicago Imagist painters known for their energetic palettes and eccentric figurative style. One of them, Barbara Rossi, encouraged her to use a camera to take note of her everyday experiences. Morris became interested in how the dailiness or mundanity of her photographs could capture a kind of visual desire—a way of “seeing something in the world I need to absorb, a longing for something I can’t have.” Expressing this complexity, the pictorial elements in her works are often juxtaposed and intermingled, with forms and patterns seeming to emerge and then zig-zag away from the flatness of the canvas. Indeed, for Morris, abstraction becomes the means to more fully engage with art and life.
Rebecca Morris’s work is held in a number of major museum collections worldwide, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, among others. Since 1994, she has been the subject of more than 25 solo exhibitions and has been included in over 145 group exhibitions at museums and galleries, including the 2014 Whitney Biennial; Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, Netherlands; LAXART, Los Angeles; Kunsthalle Lingen, Germany; The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago; 356 S. Mission Road, Los Angeles; Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin; and Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago; among many others. Morris has also been the recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, among others.
Rebecca Morris: The Ache of Bright is curated by Tyler Blackwell, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Curatorial Fellow at the Blaffer Art Museum. The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color, fully-illustrated catalogue designed by MG&Co., Houston.
The exhibition is organized by the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston’s Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts. Generous support for the exhibition is provided by Ingrid Arneberg, Leslie and Brad Bucher, Kristen and David Buck, Jereann Chaney, Cullen K. Geiselman, Cecily Horton, and Sallie Morian. Additional exhibition and program funding is provided by the Cecil Amelia Blaffer von Furstenberg Endowment for Exhibitions and Programs, the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation, the Sarah C. Morian Endowment, the John P. McGovern Foundation, Jo and Jim Furr Exhibition Endowment at Blaffer Art Museum, the Farrell Family Foundation, and Blaffer Art Museum’s Advisory Board members.