Standing in front of one of Sarah Morris‘ expansive architectural grids is a challenging, giddying experience. Confronted with a maze of colour and geometric shapes, you’re struck with a sense of panic: What are you looking at? How do you see it all at once, or make sense of it as a whole? This anxiety, or perhaps desire, is at the core of the American artist’s work as she plays with the viewer’s sense of visual recognition. Incorporating a wide range of references from the structure of urban transport systems to the iconography of maps, GPS technology, as well as the movement of people within urban environments, Morris’ work is best understood as an expanding and evolving network of visual, social and political connections.
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Her exhibition at the White Cube (and her first in the UK in six years), Machines do not make us into Machines presents a new series of ‘Sound Graph’ paintings, which use the artist’s sound files as a starting point for their composition. Recorded fragments of conversations are abstracted into hard-edged geometric shapes that appear in vibrant, fluctuating patterns that seem to move before the gaze.The exhibition also includes a selection of her films. Most notably, Abu Dhabi (2017) – a layered and fragmented exploration of the city’s psycho-geography. Her first ever sculpture What can be explained can also be predicted (2019), is comprised of modular, glass tubes of various heights and colours, arranged on a gridded marble plinth in the appearance of a miniature city. There’s a lot to contemplate, so much in fact, that it is deserving of more than one visit.
‘Machines do not make us into Machines’ runs until 30 June 2019 at White Cube, Bermondsey, London. For more information visit: whitecube.com
Follow Sarah Morris on Instagram: instagram.com/sarahmorris