Morris, Robert, 1931–2018, American artist

Morris, Robert (Robert Eugene Morris), 1931–2018, American artist, b. Kansas City, Mo., studied Kansas City Art Institute, California School of Fine Arts, Reed College. He settled in New York City in 1959. He was allied in his early work with the simple, impersonal forms of minimalism, e.g., an untitled 1965 sculpture consisting of four blocks of gray fiberglass; he often used mirrored surfaces in his sculpture. Implicit in his work is the idea that art can be made of anything. Morris's style and media changed many times during his career. He used nonrigid materials such as cut, folded or draped felt and even steam—precluding reproducible forms and emphasizing the process of art—and was also involved in conceptual art and land art. He is known for his enormous multipart sculptures of the 1980s, which include a wide variety of materials, notably casts of body parts and skeletons suggestive of nuclear destruction. Morris also experimented in performance art, incorporating dance, theater, and the plastic arts. He was a rigorous theorist of art and an influential teacher.

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