Ree Morton: Works 1971-1977
Edited by Sabine Folie. Text by Sabine Folie, Diana Baldon, Helen Molesworth, Susanne Neubauer.
Casting aside the orthodoxies of 1970s Minimalism in favor of a wittier, decorative, more "impure" art, Ree Morton (1936-1977) synthesized a vast repertoire of materials and erudition to produce sculptures, drawings and installations that have delighted an ever-swelling army of fans. Between 1971 and 1977, Morton made signature use of celastic, a material that resembles fabric when sculpted, and which enabled her to devise bizarre takes on domestic crafts of the "bless this house" variety. Yet none of her work is kitsch or folksy, and an Eva Hesse-style biomorphism and relish of surface and mass always prevails (Hesse was a crucial touchstone for Morton). Works 1971-1977, which accompanies a survey at the Generali Foundation, Vienna (the first since the New Museum's 1980 exhibit) is the first thorough monograph on Morton. Alongside the work itself, it reproduces the artist's numerous notebooks and sketchbooks, and an immense number of her own documentary photographs, which reconstruct the genesis of both existing works and works that have either been destroyed or can no longer be located. Essays by Diana Baldon, Sabine Folie, Susanne Neubauer and Helen Molesworth address Morton in context, against the backdrop of 1970s installation art, and Ilse Lafer provides an extensive chronological biographical and bibliographical survey.