Bockley Gallery and David Zwirner to Present George Morrison Solo Exhibition

George Morrison, Untitled, 1953. 
© George Morrison Estate, courtesy the George Morrison Estate and Bockley Gallery
George Morrison, Untitled, 1953. © George Morrison Estate.

Bockley Gallery and the George Morrison Estate are pleased to announce George Morrison’s first solo presentation in Los Angeles in collaboration with David Zwirner.

George Morrison (1919–2000) (Ojibwe) was a celebrated abstractionist whose six-decade career spanned painting, drawing, prints and sculpture. He responded to phenomenology of place, embracing surrealist principles and material immediacy. In Morrison’s words, “My own work falls in a direction of art that my type of experience and training gives–into the mainstream of the avant-garde of American art. My own sensibilities, the influences, and the attitudes that shaped my art were broad in scope. I have never painted the so-called Indian themes; I have never been social conscious in my painting; I have never tried to prove that I was Indian thru [sic] my art; yet, there may remain deeply hidden some remote suggestion of the rock whence I was hewn, the preoccupation of the textual surface, the mystery of the structural and organic element, the enigma of the horizon, or the color of the wind.” 1

Opening September 12, 2024, at David Zwirner’s new 606 N Western Avenue location, George Morrison: Paintings and Works on Paper, 1950s-1960s will comprise work from a significant, generative, and itinerant period in Morrison’s early career when he lived and worked between the East Coast including New York and Provincetown, the Midwest including Duluth and Ohio, and France.

Ranging from cubist-informed geometric arrangements, wherein the artist probes the effects of contrast and opacity, to allover abstractions composed of overlapping and interlocking swaths of liberally applied color, the works on paper in particular show Morrison beginning to privilege the intimacy and material possibilities of using gouache, tempera, and ink on paper supports. The artist explored the immediacy of paint in his works on canvas and often applied oil directly from the tube before incising and scraping into the contrasting layers of pigment to build visual depth and texture. With varied, frequently vibrant palettes and dynamic compositions, Morrison’s works distinctively integrate the artist’s myriad influences with the gestural expressionism of mid-twentieth-century abstraction.

—David Zwirner June newsletter

This collaboration builds upon Bockley Gallery’s long-term commitment to Morrison’s work and legacy. The gallery’s eight solo exhibitions include Small Sculptures and Drawings (1992), New York School (2011), George Morrison—a centennial celebration of his birth (2019), and the survey, Traversal (2023).

  1. George Morrison, artist statement, January, 1972, Minnesota Historical Society archives.