Modern Minute: George L.K. Morris, "Indian Composition #8" (1940)

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Modern Minute: George L.K. Morris, "Indian Composition #8" (1940)

Allison Perkins, Executive Director of Reynolda House, discusses George L.K. Morris's Indian Composition #8, on view in the Museum's exhibition Reynolda Moderns

Modern Minute: "Indian Composition #8," George L.K. Morris

Reynolda House is grateful for the generous support of Reynolda Moderns from media sponsor Our State magazine.


Allison Perkins, Reynolda House: George L.K. Morris, “Indian Composition #8” 1940

Writing for The Partisan Review in 1941, the artist George Morris said the following: “The oddest forms in nature may sometimes be the seed for abstract pictures. The markings may be made by a leak on the ceiling, a cloud, a piece of some mechanism, a newspaper advertisement - almost anything can suggest a shape for a painting." George Morris was a champion of abstract art. He founded American abstract artists; he was a champion for cubism. You probably know that term from the famous artist Pablo Picasso or George Braque. George Morris in painting Indian Composition in 1940 really tried to pull together all of the abstract elements that he loved in painting.


I want you to notice a couple of things: those diagonal lines in each corner of the painting. Look at the variety of color; look at the shapes, see how the shapes intersect with one another, and look at the textures: that checkerboard pattern on the green surface that he’s painted and the wood grained tones that are in the center of the painting. And as you stitch all this together take a few steps back and I want you to think about the following things: Does this work of art soothe you? Does it challenge you? Does it agitate you? Think about the reasons why and stop to share them with your companion.


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