Modern and Contemporary Art
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Artist: Robert Morris, American, born 1931

Untitled

1968/2002

Felt

overall 261.621 x 215.9 x 111.76 cm (103 x 85 x 44 in.)
Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund
2002.76.2a-q

Robert Morris began to make felt sculptures in the late 1960s as a departure from the rigid materials and strict geometry of Minimalism. This work returned in part to the artist’s early concerns with the body as it manifested in his engagement with contemporary dance in the 1950s and early 1960s. The heavy curves and folds of the thick, industrial felt emphasize the action of gravity while also possessing anthropomorphic, skin-like qualities. This return to bodily formations is explained in an essay Morris published in Artforum in April 1968. Here the artist argues that, despite seeking to reduce artworks to a unitary, self-evident form, the Minimalists could not escape the compartmentalization and aesthetic choice implicit in ordering and installing of their often serial works. Using the term “Anti-Form”, Morris calls for a renewed emphasis on the process of making: as can be seen in this work, he advocated “random piling, loose stacking” and “hanging” as a means of letting material determine its own contingent—rather than enduring and determinate—form.

Culture: 
American
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Sculpture
Status: 
Not on view
Bibliography: 

Art for Yale: Collecting for a New Century, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2007), 318, 412, pl. 303.

Jeffrey C. Alexander et al., Object Lessons (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2007), 61–70, 93, pl. 4, ill.

Jessica Stockholder, “Swiss Cheese Field—And Sculpture Mingled,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2009): 40, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.

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