ART: Modern Strikes Back
Sarah Morris is known for her clean, bright paintings that bounce off one another in beautiful harmony, and for her video portraits of cities.
—Painting and filmmaking are parallel activities as I’m investigating, tracing and playing with ‘urban, social and bureaucratic typologies’, London-born New Yorker Sarah Morris says.
During her visit to Espoo a few years ago the artist was impressed by Aarno Ruusuvuori’s Brutalist architecture and especially by the pine tree forest view seen through EMMA’s windows. The experience gave birth to a 30-metre wide painting Mäntyjä (Pines) that creates a sense of familiarity. If you have visited Rio de Janeiro the sense of familiarity continues, as the exhibition is built around her work depicting the city, almost like Rio has been transplanted to Tapiola.
Within the Rio paintings the artist utilises new forms and colours to expand and reduce her abstract compositions. Morris’s colour palette is from the city – ranging from bikini thongs to bits of industrial design.
—My inspiration comes from a wide range of places – the work of Roberto Burle Marx, Lina Bo Bardi, Oscar Niemeyer, lunar cycles, fruit and even Bossa Nova album covers, Morris says.
Referencing the Carnival at Sambódromo, the city’s numerous fruit juice bars, its beach chairs and umbrellas and the industrial design of mainstream Brazilian products such as Brahma beer, Morris’ vivid creations recall the characters and psychology of the Brazilian city and the same goes for the exhibition’s center piece, the film Rio (2012).
—In their expression the abstract works and Naturalist videos are the two sides of one coin, Sarah Morris says.
Together with Morris’ work, a retrospective of one of the leading Finnish Modernists, Ernst Mether-Borgström, is on show. For him an abstraction was an abstraction. To be experienced rather than understood.