In Los Angeles, her most recent film, Sarah Morris examines the expressions of Hollywood’s “celebrity culture”. Made a few days before the Oscar ceremony, the video presents a series of scenes shot on the red carpet and in boutiques on Rodeo Drive, production companies, beauty salons and plastic surgery clinics. Combined with the artist’s own geometric paintings, these present a fascinating overview of the showbiz culture. The city is documented both from the outside in terms of its architecture – Mulholland Drive, the Bonaventure Hotel and the Wells Fargo Building in Beverly Hills – and from the inside in terms of the psychology and peculiarities of its inhabitants. Like cinema, the major industry of Los Angeles, Sarah Morris’s works captivate the spectator with their images in an inextricable interweaving of make-believe and reality.
The artist became internationally known in the mid-1990s with brightly coloured paintings in which a geometric grid reminiscent of modernist painting and Minimalism is superimposed on the glass and steel architecture of the skyscrapers in the financial centres of the American cities.
Sarah Morris has been making films since 1998, biographies of major cities sensitively capturing the atmosphere of their political and economic but also everyday life. Documentary and full-length film are combined by taking documentary material with its faithful reproduction of events and embedding it in narrative material to obtain the invented story of the work of art. In this way she investigates urban environments, places of power and social representation. Sarah Morris describes her films as “condensed manifestos”, compendiums of images and situations.
Sarah Morris (London, 1967) has taken part in exhibitions all over the world. The Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Bologna is to hold a solo show of her work in 2009, following exhibitions at the White Cube in London, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, the Kunsthalle in Zurich and the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford. She has also taken part in group shows at various venues, including the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Gallery and Tate Britain in London and the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. Works by the artist are included in the collections of the Salomon R. Guggenheim Museum and MoMA in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Tate Gallery of Modern Art in London. Sarah Morris lives and works in New York and London.