Ree Morton: Drawings, Signs and Beaux 1974-1976
Sep 5 – Oct 13, 2001
Alexander and Bonin will open its fall season on September 5th with an exhibition of works by Ree Morton (1936-1977). The exhibition, titled Drawings, Signs and Beaux will focus on the work from three particular years, 1974-76, of Morton’s abbreviated career and will include several drawings and paintings not previously exhibited.
Included in this exhibition is Bozeman, Montana, a key work in Morton’s development. Resulting from a teaching experience it is one of her first works in celastic, a plastic-like substance that would become her signature material during these years. For this piece, she created three-dimensional plaques of the names of students in Bozeman and literally bracketed them with parenthesis adorned with red, yellow and white light bulbs. Several drawings from 1974 present her path from the abstract to subjects of a particular and often idiosyncratic nature. Biomorphic Line Series drawings give way to faux-wood framed drawings of cells, plants and landscapes and landscapes with banners of words pertaining to plant-lore. During this time, Morton’s work is laden with puns and references. The exhibition will also include two 1975 works from the series One of the Beaux Paintings which demonstrate her interests in language and the overtly decorative, punning on beauty, bows, lovers and Bozeman, Montana.
Signs of Love has been described as “a veritable rococo feast of celastic ladders, curtains, swags, roses, ribbons and small panel paintings”. Elements and tests that led up to that large installation work (collection Whitney Museum of American Art) will demonstrate Morton’s process and the evolution of style within a single artwork. Several of the works shown here were included in the various installations Morton made of Signs during her lifetime.
Ree Morton’s work is included in numerous museum collections in the United States and Europe. During her lifetime she exhibited at Artists Space, New York, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia and contemporary galleries in New York and Chicago. A posthumous retrospective of her work was organized by Allan Schwartzman and Kathleen Thomas for the New Museum in 1980 and traveled to several U.S. museums. In recent years one-person exhibitions have been held at Annemarie Verna Galerie, Zurich and Alexander and Bonin. In 1999, the University of Vermont, Burlington organized an exhibition of her sketchbooks and notebooks and published an extensive catalogue.