Carl Morris  1911–1993


Originally born in California, Carl Morris was to become Oregon’s most renowned artist. He moved to Portland, Oregon in the early 1940’s, and exhibited both in the state and nationally throughout his career. He studied in Chicago, Vienna, and Paris. His early friendships with the artists of the Northwest School, and with Mark Rothko in New York, influenced his art both regionally and nationally throughout his career. Morris was a deeply committed artist whose large and powerful, abstract paintings attempted to express the absolute beauty found in nature.  These explorations connected his work to the evolution of Western art. In his paintings the abstract and expressive elements evoke a transcendental dialogue that produce a psychological impact. His creative honesty combines with his application of paint, creating a luminosity that emanates from the canvas. He gained recognition from museums on the East and West coasts, and from innumerable painters and critics of his generation. His work has been reviewed and profiled in hundreds of publications, ranging from Art in America to numerous exhibition catalogues. As well as being exhibited both nationally and internationally, Morris’ work is included in public and private collections worldwide. Collections include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York; the Corcoran Gallery and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.; as well as the San Francisco Art Museum, the Portland Art Museum, and the Seattle Art Museum. In 1993, the Portland Art Museum honored Morris with a fifty year retrospective.