Concretion

George Lovett Kingsland Morris (American, 1905-1975)

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Concretion is a fully abstract work based upon the relationship of colored forms in an undefined space. Unified by an earth-tones palette and similar shapes, lively biomorphic forms are arranged to maintain a rhythmic and harmonic balance.

For Morris, abstract painting could express ideas in a universal language that was independent from the limitations of subject matter or representational images.

Morris associated with avant-garde Parisian artists like Picasso during the 1930s before becoming one of Modernism's earliest and most articulate spokesmen in America.

Early Advocate of Abstraction

A descendant of General Lewis Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, George L. K. Morris was born in New York City. Morris was a graduate of Yale University and studied under John Sloan and Kenneth Hayes Miller at the Art Students League before traveling to Paris to work with Fernand Léger at the Académie Moderne. Léger’s Cubist style shaped Morris’s approach to his own abstract compositions. Morris was a strong advocate of American Modernism both as an artist and a critic. He was the founder of the American Abstract Artists, and he edited their publication The World of Abstract Art, The Bulletin of the Museum of Modern Art, and Partisan Review. He married the abstract artist Suzy Frelinghuysen, and the two lived a lavish lifestyle. They had homes in New York City, the Berkshires, and Paris.

Morris was one of Modernism’s earliest and most articulate American spokesmen, who came to believe that paintings were capable of expressing a universal abstract language. Concretion is a non-representational work of colored forms in an undefined space. Against an earth-toned background, the amorphous shapes of Concretion maintain a rhythmic and harmonic balance.

Lorenz, Melinda A. George L. K. Morris: Artist and Critic. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press, 1982.

The artist to Hirschl and Adler Galleries in New York; IMA 1978

Object Information

artist
George Lovett Kingsland Morris (American, 1905-1975)
creation date
1937
materials
oil on canvas
dimensions
24-1/4 x 20-1/4 in.
30-1/2 x 20-1/4 in. (framed)
accession number
78.1
credit line
Mr. and Mrs. Julius F. Pratt Fund
copyright
© Frelinghuysen Morris Foundation, Lenox Massachusetts
collection
American Painting and Sculpture to 1945
colors

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