I’m not strongly motivated to say much about Carl Morris or his work. Rep’ed in Portland by Laura Russo, prolific, collected, long-lived, generous, abstract painter. You can look up his bio if you like.

There are four matching paintings, which look like they were all made on the same day, just filling space in the OHSU auditorium. My guess is Jean and Howard Vollum donated these to OHSU back in the 1970’s. Sensing an ultimate gift in the tens of millions, the development department swallowed the insurance costs and parked these artworks pending the estate settlement.

The paintings are large and fresh looking, dark and ominous, uninviting and looming. Definitely not something you could hang in a home or in a room where particular people would need to be in direct contact with them. Public hallways, lobbies, entrances. Very serious stuff, but absent sufficient content to be useful. Just unpleasant.

When the Vollum Institute was designed, more Morris’ were available from the Vollum collection. In a quick run through the lobbies and the Edward Herbert room on the 11th floor (fantastic view) I counted eight. There are probably more tucked away in offices. Student & staff are oblivious to them, swallowed in their niche world of test tubes.

If you have a curious mind (why else would you be reading this blog?) check out the Herbert Memorial lecture series: An Rb/E2F/DP Complex and Chromatin Remodeling Antagonize a Ras Pathway During C. elegans Vulva Development, presented by Robert Horvitz of MIT, who shared the 2002 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Sydney Brenner and John Sulston. March 13, 2006 at 12:00 PM in Room M1441 – better write that down, you won’t see it in your local papers.

Hilda Morris, Carl’s better half and a fine and curious teacher in her own right, will be remembered at the PAM.org in March with a solo show.

From the show description: Hilda Morris (1911 – 1991) was at the center of the Northwest’s avant-garde for much of her career, producing a large body of innovative, influential bronze sculpture. Now, in this definitive survey exhibition of more than 50 of her sculptures, drawings, and paintings are on view.

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