Joel Morrison

JOEL MORRISON, Disco Ball Caught in a Bear Trap, 2013, stainless steel, 28 x 30 x 36 inches (71.1 x 76.2 x 91.4 cm), ed. of 3. Photo by Josh White

Joel Morrison Listed Exhibitions (Selected) (23 Kb)
Joel Morrison Bibliography (19 Kb)

Joel Morrison was born in Seattle, Washington in 1976. He received a BA in English Literature at Central Washington University, and an MFA in sculpture at the Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA.

Morrison’s sculptures engage a myriad of theoretical ventures, juxtaposing various genres and processes within the confines of a single work.   Morrison uses found and everyday objects to create a unique and sharp sense of tension in the surfaces of the sculptures he creates.  He demonstrates his technical ability to manipulate and harmonize these chosen objects—which have included neck braces, wasp nests, urinal refreshers, and bullets—with works that range from neo-classical Greek busts to grotesque, amorphous forms. Cast in stainless steel and highly polished, they form a reinvented dystopia, where mundane objects are glorified and classified into themes of Pop, Surrealism and Classicism.

One constant in Morrison's body of work is a dynamic conversation between his own brand of humor and the canonized body of art history. New Madrid (2012), describes a wall hanging tableau covered with a cargo blanket, the stitched pattern of which mimics the geometric shapes from Frank Stella’s famed monolithic work, Getty Tomb, 1959. Where Stella’s rejection of the figurative is finite, Morrison’s hint at an obfuscated canvas holds limitless possibility. Encased in an unblemished bright nickel surface that abstracts all that it reflects, the facade envelops the color and shape from the world in real time in its ever-changing surface.

In 2006, he was a featured artist in the California Biennial held at the Orange County Museum of Art, as well as a participant in the critically acclaimed "Thing" exhibition at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. In 2010, Morrison was featured in "Six Solos" at the Wexner Center for the Arts.  His numerous other group and solo exhibitions have been at venues throughout the world including the Kolbe Museum, Berlin; Haus Am Waldsee Museum, Berlin; and Santa Monica Museum of Art.

Gagosian Gallery has held solo exhibitions of Morrison's work in Beverly Hills (2008), New York at Madison Avenue (2011), and Hong Kong (2012).