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Ree Morton: Works 1971-1977

Ree Morton: Works 1971-1977

Works 1971-1977

by Helen Molesworth and Sabine Folie
Publication Date: 01/11/2009
Casting aside the orthodoxies of 1970s Minimalism in favor of a wittier, decorative, more "impure" art, Ree Morton (1936-1977) synthesized a vast repertoire of materials and erudition to produce sculptures, drawings and installations that have delighted an ever-swelling army of fans. Between 1971 and 1977, Morton made signature use of celastic, a material that resembles fabric when sculpted, and which enabled her to devise bizarre takes on domestic crafts of the "bless this house" variety. Yet none of her work is kitsch or folksy, and an Eva Hesse-style biomorphism and relish of surface and mass always prevails (Hesse was a crucial touchstone for Morton). Works 1971-1977, which accompanies a survey at the Generali Foundation, Vienna (the first since the New Museum's 1980 exhibit) is the first thorough monograph on Morton. Alongside the work itself, it reproduces the artist's numerous notebooks and sketchbooks, and an immense number of her own documentary photographs, which reconstruct the genesis of both existing works and works that have either been destroyed or can no longer be located. Essays by Diana Baldon, Sabine Folie, Susanne Neubauer and Helen Molesworth address Morton in context, against the backdrop of 1970s installation art, and Ilse Lafer provides an extensive chronological biographical and bibliographical survey.
Individual artists
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Verlag F'Ur Moderne Kunst
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Helen Molesworth

Helen Molesworth is a curator and writer. She has organized a number of critically acclaimed exhibitions, most recently Kerry James Marshall: Mastry and Look Before You Leap: Black Mountain College 1933–1957. Her forthcoming exhibition, One Day at a Time: Manny Farber and Termite Art, opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in October 2018.

She is the author of numerous catalogue essays and her writing has appeared in publications such as Art forum, Art Journal, Documents, and October. The recipient of the 2011 Bard Center for Curatorial Studies Award for Curatorial Excellence, she is currently at work on a book of essays about what art does.

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