Morris - Recorder Player
Morris - untitled 1951
Morris - Tablet
Morris - Implosion
Morris - C_15_63

Press Release

Morris was a deeply committed artist whose large and powerful abstract paintings attempted to express the absolute beauty he found in nature. These explorations would lead to his becoming Oregon’s most renowned visual artist. In his paintings, the abstract and expressive elements evoke a transcendental dialogue with deep psychological impact. His creative honesty combines with his application of paint, creating a luminosity that explodes from the canvas. 

Originally born in California, Carl Morris moved to Portland, Oregon in the early 1940s, 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 produces 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 catalogs. 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.