Erin Morrison


Posted on January 26, 2018

Zona Maco 2018
Ochi Projects, Los Angeles 

Erin Morrison and Zio Zegler

February 7 - 11, 2018

Centro Citibanamex, Hall D
AV. Conscripto 311
Lomas de Sotelo
CDMX, 11200



Posted on September 16, 2017


THE LETDOWN, Solo Exhibition
Ochi Projects, Los Angeles
October 28 - December 9
Opening Reception October 28, 6-9pm

This presentation of relief sculptures made in complementary pairs, created by Morrison’s unique process combining both printmaking and casting techniques, brings to the forefront a conversation between artifact and replica. Referencing Etruscan frescoes, early Puritan Gravestones, and more directly the gestures of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s dynamic figurative works, Morrison recasts these symbols with the industrial material of gypsum cement, alluding to the way artifacts are imitated if not outright looted — their original purpose and significance lost or misinterpreted. Through this process of dislocation, artifacts or replicas often take on a new kind of cultural significance where their possession and display is meant to indicate status and wealth.

Do these objects that imitate artifacts become kitsch when a “faux” material meant to imply this sense of value fails to do so? Imitation gold and silver, for instance, are often employed in this effort and are featured predominantly in the exhibition. Recalling a piece of jewelry Morrison had in the 90s, two large panels depict evil eye chains in gold and silver leaf. The evil eye, originally a talisman considered to have magical powers of protection, is depicted with broken links, revealing its artificiality, refuting its symbolic properties and transforming it into a cheap trinket.

Morrison further mines this moment of failed expectation. The Letdown, sharing their title with the exhibition, are two panels of milky-colored recurring wave patterns. The works are named after the physiological response that occurs during breastfeeding; the letdown involves the release of oxytocin (the “love” hormone) strengthening the bond of mother to child. The works recall a memory of simultaneously experiencing the letdown breastfeeding her son while feeling extreme despair watching Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign concession speech. This bittersweet moment triggered a heightened awareness of injustice so profound that it called her to action, altering her sense of place and duty in the world. Turning the waves into guilded flames, she carries this experience of complicated emotion into Ecstasy, two panels depicting gesturing hands. Though hands are a repeated trope in Morrison’s work, here they specifically reference Bernini’s The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa. Teresa, (one of the few female saints) accounted to have experienced a love of God with a pain “so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it.” This conflation of the body’s letdown while feeling emotionally let down, waves of euphoria and waves of pain, inform Morrison’s understanding of high and low, unmet expectation, false narrative, and the power of imagery and symbolic gesture.

Despite the cynicism required to grasp the concept of kitsch, Morrison nevertheless strives for a level of repose in her pieces. In two final panels Morrison recreates a souvenir pendant that depicts a landscape. She recognizes that while it may have sentimental value it is not a piece of fine jewelry. Interrogating and transforming the souvenir into art object through her labor-intensive process, Morrison seeks a sincere means of making something well-crafted and whole.


Posted on July 25, 2017

When the Fire Burns Out, Two Person Exhibition
Katie Sinnott and Erin Morrison
Chimento Contemporary
July 29 - August 19

The gallery will feature paintings by Erin Morrison and Katie Sinnott. Both artists tackle dimension and material space by incorporating relief into their process. Using only two dimensional mediums, the work is architecturally manipulated; built up and cut away, requiring the participation of visitors whose own bodies exist and move within the space, to activate the work. These are living paintings that highlight physical space and matter. 

Katie Sinnott lives and works in Los Angeles, C.A. She received her M.F.A. from UCLA in 2013. She has exhibited with Night Gallery, ACME and Cirrus Gallery. This is her first exhibition at Chimento Contemporary. 

Erin Morrison (b. 1985) lives and works in Los Angeles, C.A. She received her M.F.A. from UCLA in 2014. Her work has been exhibited by Samuel Freeman and Ochi Projects. This is her first exhibition at Chimento Contemporary. 


Posted on August 20, 2016

End of Summer Summer Show, Group Exhibition
24 Hour Charlies, Malibu
September 3-4, 12pm-12pm

featuring work by: Rema Ghuloum, Shanna Waddell, Margaux Oden, Trulee Hall, Matthew Page Greene, Matthew Lax, Anna Breininger, Lauren Quin, Erin Morrison, Dustin Metz, Paul W Waddell, Young Joon Kwak, Lili de Magalhaes, Elizabeth Ferry.


Posted on July 07, 2016

Object Decorum, Solo Exhibition
Ochi Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho
August 13 - September 30

Ochi Gallery is pleased to present Object Decorum an exhibition of new work by Erin Morrison. This is the artist’s first exhibition at the gallery. It will open Saturday August 13th and will continue on view through September 30th. An opening reception will be held August 13th from 5pm – 7pm.

Erin Morrison makes her paintings by casting hydrocal surfaces in a monoprint process with materials such as fabrics and linoleum to provide texture and create three dimensional grounds upon which she then applies paint. This process creates a particular spatial flattening, similar to collage, where the resulting singular surface is reliant on of the traces of many. The finished surfaces have a kinship to ancient reliefs or medieval tapestries, their imagery narratively evocative even while relying on simplistic forms and compositions.

This exhibition marks a turn by Morrison to more industrial materials for her relief methods. Architectural motifs such as the patterns from concrete walls around her neighborhood and industrial floor covers provide new textural associations and pull the outside world into the work. Balancing this tougher textural palette in the casting is renewed attention to the texture of the paint itself. Especially in work such as Black Hand, repeated cleaning and polishing are combined with a sealing application of wax to create a smooth, luxe surface that calls to mind California’s Finish Fetish movement.

With this body of work Morrison’s subject matter moves to the drawing room. Still lives, vases, ferns and flowers all speak of the most formal of the domestic spaces, a place where nature is subjugated by etiquette. Decorus objects are those that are well behaved. They are at home in drawing rooms and country clubs, spaces ruled by good taste. A painting is the quintessential decorus object, a marker of the status and class of its owner, it adds pleasure and decoration to its environment.

- text by Katie Bode


Posted on April 26, 2016

A Plot of Land, Group Exhibition
Sonia Dutton Gallery, New York
May 13 – June 19, 2016

featuring work by: Colby Bird, Molly Larkey, Erin Morrison, Kate Newby, Louis Reith, Jennifer Rochlin, Brion Nuda Rosch


Posted on April 09, 2016

Memory Theater, Group Installation by Srijon Chowdhury
UPFOR Gallery, Portland
April 13 – May 28, 2016

Featuring work by: Arnar Asgeirsson, Jack Bangerter, Sarah Burns, Alexander Collins, Scott Cowan, Katy Cowan, Liz Craft, Zoe Crosher, Roy Dowell, Alec Egan, Grace Eunchong, Andreas Gurewich, Regina Herod, India Lawrence, Ellen Lesperance, Sofia Londono, Jason Bailer Losh, Anna Margaret, Erin Morrison, Kori Newkirk, Jorunn Hanke Ogstad, Pablo Picasso, Fay Ray, Charlie Roberts, Allison Schulnik, Brian Strandberg, Katie Thoma, Dani Tull

For Srijon Chowdhury’s first project at Upfor, the artist reimagines 16th century inventor Giullio Camillo’s theory of The Memory Theater, a universal storage and retrieval device. His invention, veiled in the occult and hermetics, was a radical shift in the philosophy of memory from the scholastic to the organic—a memory geared to the universe (Frances A. Yates, The Art of Memory, 1966).

The most ancient and wisest of writers have always been accustomed to recommending to their writings the secrets of God under obscure veils, so that they be not intended, unless by those who have ears to hear… The eyes of vulgar wills cannot suffer the rays of divinity.
-Giulio Camillo, L’Idea de Theatro, 1550

The work is of wood… he calls this theatre by many names, saying now that it is a built or constructed mind and soul, and now that it is a windowed one. He pretends that all things that the human mind can conceive and which we cannot see with the corporeal eye, after being collected together by diligent meditation may be expressed by certain corporeal signs in such a way that the beholder may at once perceive with his eyes everything that is otherwise hidden in the depths of the human mind. And it is because of this corporeal looking that he calls it a theatre...
-Viglius Zuichemus, Letters to Erasmus, 1532

Chowdhury conceptualizes the exhibition as a play. The gallery is a theater for another built inside of it. The play centers on a circular structure made out of 8 feet tall, arched wooden frames stretched with thin linen. The outside of the structure is curated with sculptures from featured artists — the actors backstage. Chowdhury sought artists to contribute to a cast of work that "feels fetishistic, ritualistic, and outside of time." Through an opening in the walls, spectators can walk into the center of the theater, to see the silhouetted shadows of these works through the linen and become simultaneously actors and audience. A sound piece that uses the recently captured audio from two black holes colliding one billion years ago as its driving beat resonates through the space. Memory Theater is a full sensory experience intended to facilitate remembering.


Posted on December 31, 2015

Temporary Installation, curated by Sharón Zoldan
January 4 - 31, 2016


Posted on December 31, 2015

Deep Superficial Perceptions, Group Exhibition
January 16, 2016 – February 20, 2016

CES Gallery is pleased to present Deep Superficial Perceptions, a group exhibition featuring Samantha Bittman, Julia Bland, Matias Cuevas, Alex Ebstein, Aaron Farley, Doty Glasco, Erin Morrison, and Loring Taoka. Deep Superficial Perceptions surveys ongoing studio explorations of material experiments in two dimensional formats. The history of image making inevitably begins with painting. This process becomes increasingly complicated as technology evolves, as perception is altered by media, beginning with the invention of photographic methods and now rapidly changing with the flow of the Internet.

Traditional art forms such as photography and painting now regularly commingle, often seamlessly, with plastic, concrete, textile, veneer, rubber, and other household and industrial materials. These complex material decisions express a love of the tactile and a nod towards ever-evolving artist experiments, such as minerals ground into linseed oil or silver salts suspended in gelatin. The artists in the show – Samantha Bittman, Julia Bland, Matias Cuevas, Alex Ebstein, Aaron Farley, Doty Glasco, Erin Morrison, and Loring Taoka – demonstrate a dedication to material formal exploration that reveals a prolonged interest in how material becomes idea.

Taoka meditates on perception through seamless sculptural interventions on industrial materials. Doty Glasco’s photographic silk prints depict the landscape as a symbol of geologic time embedded into an ethereal material that ripples with the viewer’s movements. Farley’s interest in photography as an expression of the unreliability of perception results in the manipulated display of photographs that similarly provokes viewers to question their physical relationship to the object. Using the now ubiquitous texturized rubber of yoga mats, Ebstein creates interlocking collages of faux-modernist abstract compositions that metonymically shift the viewer into a contemplation of contemporary self-reflexivity. Cuevas sets common nylon carpeting on fire, melting it into abstract paintings with paint thinner before actuallypainting onto each surface. Bittman weaves her own textiles to create surfaces for painting, disrupting the hierarchy of two dimensional materials and allowing paint marks and woven patterns to be equally important. Bland, also known for her textile paintings, presents smaller meditations on weaving and painting more akin to geometric drawings or artifacts used in ancient ceremonies. Morrison creates concrete reliefs that are stamped, dyed, and treated, resulting in an object that vacillates between painting and sculpture, image and object. Integrating unusual materials into wall based works requires a playfulness and resourcefulness familiar to all these artists that provides each viewer with space to question their own perception.


Posted on September 12, 2015

When the Sun Hits, Group Exhibition, Glendale
August 9 - September 20 2015

featuring work by: Miyoshi Barosh, Channing Hansen, JPW3, Jennie Jieun Lee, Erin Morrison

"Summer, out in the garden: green fig beetles gather in fat clusters on the tree. Hooking their spindly legs into a single splayed open, overripe fruit, they feast in the sun. Or they burrow their iridescent bodies inside the slit flesh and eat sheathed in it, like an extra skin or a capirote. In fall, they’ll lay their eggs under the same tree and their larvae will sustain on the decomposing leaves on the ground until spring. Fully emerged, the larvae eat and eat, and move along, supine, by the stiff hairs on their backs, creating chambers in the soil until they molt. Then, summer again: green fig beetles gather in fat clusters on the tree."

The Pit is pleased to announce When the Sun Hits an exhibition featuring 5 artists with works that blur the lines of sculpture, painting, collage, and performance.  The shows features Miyoshi Barosh, Channing Hansen, JPW3, Jennie Jieun Lee, and Erin Morrison.

When the Sun Hits deals with themes of transition, mutation, and subversion with a playful and lighthearted tone.  Several of the works explore ideas of personal freedom via outsider mentalities and desert culture.  Miyoshi Barosh’s wall mounted sculpture comprised of thrift store sweaters have references to desert craft-art ala Joshua Tree’s “world famous crochet museum” which brings to minds ex-pats/hippies/bikers leaving the cities for a more isolated life in the desert.  However, it also brings to mind a darker psychology reminiscent of Mike Kelly’s artwork in which soft and comfortable materials which are generally associated with familial comfort have been contorted into sinuous, bulbous fleshy forms similar to human phalluses or mother’s breasts. 

The exhibition features artworks with slippery and transitory material groundings. Erin Morrison’s wall hanging pieces composed of Ultra Cal, a form of plaster, begin by arranging three dimensional objects on the floor to create a composition, after which the plaster is poured via a mold making process, then the found objects are removed creating a relief which serves as the ground for making a painting.  Similarly, JPW3’s refurbished craps table began as a found object, then a wood working project, which morphed into an opportunity to make a custom printed felt taking on aspects of drawing/print making/painting, and finally will have a performative aspect as participants are invited to gamble on the table at the exhibition’s opening. 

link: Exhibition review: The LA Times


Posted on September 12, 2015

One Foot on the Ground, Group Exhibition curated by Alexander Kroll, Seattle
July 2 – August 15 2015

James Harris Gallery is pleased to present a group show of paintings and works on paper entitled, One Foot on the Ground, curated by artist Alexander Kroll. The show presents recent work by six American painters: Tomory Dodge, Joanne Greenbaum, Jane Hugentober, Tom Knechtel, Erin Morrison, and Craig Taylor.  One Foot on the Ground is not a themed exhibition. This is a taste driven enterprise, and as the history of painting tells us, the nature of taste is central to how the language of abstraction is constructed, conceived, perceived, disseminated, deconstructed, parsed, purchased, categorized, collected and loved.

For these artists, abstraction is the jumping off point.  Their work explores the threshold that exists between figuration and abstraction, and how these boundaries are pushed in order to discover what lies just beyond the recognizable, the in-between state where a picture pushes against the edge of physicality and challenges the observer’s perceptions.  It is in this moment of falling off balance, of allowing for chaos to ensue that these artists discover the associative domains beyond the visual arts through performance, poetry, fairytales, psychology, archeology, diagrams, and topography – and create their own language of abstraction through suspension and dislocation of form. By bringing together works by both established and emerging artists, this exhibition creates a conversation of diverse visual languages of a moment. 

link: Exhibition review: New American Paintings


Posted on September 12, 2015

Relief, Solo Exhibition, Los Angeles
February 28 - April 1 2015

Samuel Freeman is pleased to present Relief, Erin Morrison’s debut solo exhibition.  Working with plaster, paint, and fabric, Morrison creates highly tactile surfaces that exist somewhere between painting and sculpture—as relief.  By paying homage to tradition while respecting physical and cultural materials, the work permits a broader audience than one within the contemporary institutional framework.

Each piece begins with a unique handmade quilt, sewn from fabrics selected for surface texture and ability to transfer colour.  These intentionally modest abstractions are used to form a plaster cast over a stretched burlap frame. The quilt is peeled away when the plaster has set, leaving behind a low-relief topography of colour and form, shredding the source material in the process. This shallow plaster surface becomes Morrison’s “blank canvas,” rich with implicit meaning before even a single brushstroke is applied.  The final painted marks—abstract forms, language fragments, and figurative elements—are equally oblique references to Terry Winters, Paul Klee, and Grecian archaeology.

Through the use of the quilt, each work arises from an historically complex ground. Influenced by the German textile designs of Annie Albers, Gunta Stolz, and Sonia Delauney, as well as the geometric improvisations from Gee’s Bend, Alabama, Erin Morrison takes abstract patterns and imagery to produce an aesthetic language stripped of literal meaning yet complexly referential in placement.  By decoupling her referents from their context, the work is relieved of historical burden—as craft, domesticity, utility—and in doing so, revels in the nuance of source and final form.

links: Exhibition Review: The LA Times
Exhibition Review: Art Talk, KCRW