Review: The peculiar appeal of Rebecca Morris’ paintings, on view in L.A. and San Francisco, is their depiction of objects that “have been ‘touched’…to a degree that defies physical explanation.”
That appeal is one reason to go to see Rebecca Morris: she’s new here, she’s new in L.A., and she’s new here. And she’s got a little bit of everything.
In her work, she has the look of someone who has tried to find her way through the world, a process that has meant, in the process, spending time with old friends on the Internet, traveling to places she knows about only from books, and in her case, buying hundreds of books about how to make artwork.
“I have no patience with ‘how,'” Morris says. “All people want is an answer.”
Her work is the result of that search on the other side of art; it is that search for answers to questions that have no simple answers. It is a search for something that is as elusive to Morris as any equation with a square root, or a perfect triangle.
“I need to know where I am,” she says. “Where does art come from?” she wondered. “Where does it go? What does that person in that painting want? What does that person want out of life? Why am I doing this? What is the ‘why’? What is the ‘what’?”
As artists, the “what” and the “why” are more complicated than any equation, more complex that any set of instructions. And if you go to Morris’ site (www.rebeccamorris.net) and scroll down to her “About Me” or “The Artist” section, you get that same feeling that you get from the most abstract of abstracts: That everything is part of one big equation, a problem whose solution seems so close as to be in reach, if you know how to find it.
Morris is no stranger to the art world. She is the author of two books, most recently, “Brick by Brick,” a meditation on the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883. There is a link to the book on her website. In the book, she takes a detailed tour through the bridge, building her own set of rules to figure out why it might have happened the way that it did, and how it was built in such a limited time. And when