Sarah Morris

Finite and Infinite Games

February 23 - April 8, 2017

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 23rd, 6–8pm

456 W 18th Street

Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Sarah Morris.

The complex language of abstraction, imbued in the paintings of Sarah Morris continues in Finite and Infinite Games, as Morris extracts the codes, systems of control, power structures that characterize urban, social and bureaucratic typologies. The title of the exhibition references James P. Carse’s book on the sociopolitical implications of game play in everyday life, while the body of work is parallel to two films Morris has made: Abu Dhabi shot on location in the United Arab Emirates, and Finite and Infinite Games, a film featuring Alexander Kluge and the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg.

Architectural, political, and historical examinations of cities through reduced and expanded abstraction have been the mark of Morris’s paintings, in which she focused on revealing the multilayered identities and narratives of cities such as Rio, New York, Washington DC and Beijing. For this new series of paintings, Morris turns her focus to the futuristic landscape of the Middle East. Geographical coordinates, schematically mapped, create the framework for her compositions. Morris’s unique use of vivid color and grid-like geometric shapes produce a virtual architecture of city and desert—landscape and erasure.

Morris’s paintings explore the complex conversation between culture, architecture and power. The work streamlines a way of perception as much as abstracted urban structures. Executed in household gloss paint on square canvases, Morris’s Abu Dhabi paintings, redolent with algorithmic grids, capture the quiddity of the moment. Morris’s paintings and drawings continually develop the artist’s exploration into the essence of place and politics, creating visions of play, possibility and intrigue both finite and infinite. Within this framework, the Olympics, Chase Bank, conspiracies, QR codes, the film industry, the global banking system, Sir Norman Foster, J.G. Ballard, the oil industry, The President of the United States, lunar cycles, pharmaceutical packaging, falconry and even fruit are fair game.

Sarah Morris (b. 1967, American) lives and works in New York. She has exhibited internationally including solo exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2016), M Museum Leuven (2015), Kunsthalle Bremen (2013), Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus (2012), K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf (2010), Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2009), Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna (2009), Lenbachaus, Munich (2008), Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2008), Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2006), Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (2005), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2005), Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2005), Kunstforeningen, Copenhagen (2004), The Nationalgalerie in Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2001), Kunsthalle Zürich (2000), Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (1999).

Work by the artist is held in museum collections worldwide, including: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Lenbachhaus, Munich; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Neue Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Centre Pompidou, Paris; SFMoMA, San Francisco; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Tate Modern, London.

The film Finite and Infinite Games is currently showing at the Hamburg Deichterhallen and her site-specific work “Monarch”, a passenger train that operates between Montreux and Zweisimmen, Switzerland can be seen until 2021.

Petzel Gallery is located at 456 West 18th Street New York, NY 10011. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM–6:00 PM. For press inquiries, please contact Janine Latham at janine@petzel.com, or call (212) 680-9467.


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    Sarah Morris
    Finite and Infinite Games
    Installation view 1
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    Finite and Infinite Games
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    Finite and Infinite Games
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    Finite and Infinite Games
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    Sorbonne [Abu Dhabi]
    2017
    Household gloss paint on canvas
    48.03 x 48.03 inches
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    Reserve
    2017
    Ink and gouache on paper
    30 x 30 inches
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    Control Tower
    2017
    Ink and gouache on paper
    30 x 30 inches
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    Prototype
    2017
    Ink and gouache on paper
    30 x 30 inches
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    Sarab [Abu Dhabi]
    2017
    Household gloss paint on canvas
    84.25 x 84.25 inches
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    Iris [Abu Dhabi]
    2017
    Household gloss paint on canvas
    48.03 x 48.03 inches
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    Elixier [Abu Dhabi]
    2017
    Household gloss paint on canvas
    84.25 x 84.25 inches
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    Nothing but the Best
    2017
    Ink and gouache on paper
    12 x 16 inches
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    Palace [Abu Dhabi]
    2017
    Household gloss paint on canvas
    35.43 x 35.43 inches
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    Total Solar Eclipse [August 2017]
    2017
    Household gloss paint on canvas
    84.25 x 84.25 inches
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    Nbad [Abu Dhabi]
    2017
    Household gloss paint on canvas
    48.03 x 48.03 inches
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    Control Tower [Abu Dhabi]
    2017
    Household gloss on canvas
    84.25 x 84.25 inches
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    National Exhibition Center [Abu Dhabi]
    2017
    Household gloss paint on canvas
    84.25 x 84.25 inches
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    Dune
    2017
    Ink and gouache on paper
    27 x 40 inches
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    Exodus
    2017
    Ink and gouache on paper
    27 x 40 inches
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    Vertical Power [Abu Dhabi]
    2017
    Household gloss paint on canvas
    113.78 x 113.78 inches
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    Council [Abu Dhabi]
    2017
    Household gloss paint on canvas
    60.04 x 60.04 inches
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    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
    2017
    Ink and gouache on paper
    24 x 32 inches
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    February 2017
    2017
    Household gloss paint on canvas
    48.03 x 48.03 inches
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