Robert Morris is an American sculptor, conceptual artist and writer. He has explored mediums such as performance, installation, minimalism, land art and process art.
Morris coined the term ‘anti form’, inspired by Jackson Pollack’s dripping technique. ‘Anti form’ refers to the process in which art work is made, where you relinquish control and exploit chance. In 1967 Morris became interested in the sculptural possibilities of softer materials and began a series of Untitled works which have been informally referred to as ‘Tangle(s)’. Relinquishing control he allowed strips of heavy industrial felt to drop and fall into a pile, exaggerating the subtle plasticity of his material.
‘Felt has anatomical associations,’ Morris has said, ‘it relates to the body—it’s skin like.’
‘Untitled’ 1967–8, remade 2008
‘Untitled’ 1967-8 – 254 piepes of felt at the National gallery of Canada(Photographed from – Batchelor, D. (1997). Minimalism (movements in modern art). Millbank, London: Tate Gallery Pub.)
Although I am not planning to explore a more random approach to produce artwork, I am interested in how Morris contorts his material. Morris has also created many other works using felt where he has strategically cut and appears to have placed the felt in such a way as to form beautifully symmetrical sculptures, where he has allowed to felt to sage and drape. The symmetry and repetitive cuts of these works create a kind of three-dimensional pattern hanging off the wall. Morris has taken advantage of this flexible but stiff material and created crisp but flowing forms, which have structure but are still relaxed.
He has taken an artistic process (‘anti form’) which would mostly be used to describe paints fluidity and malleability, and has applied it to minimalist sculpture. In my eyes he has made 3D patterns.