Robert Morris, a leading figure in postwar American art, is best
known as a pioneer of minimalist sculpture, process art, and
earthworks. Yet Morris has resisted affiliation with any one
movement or style. An extraordinarily versatile artist, he has
produced dances, performance pieces, prints, paintings, drawings,
and installations, working with materials including plywood, felt,
dirt, aluminum, steel mesh, fiberglass, and encaustic. Throughout
his career, Morris has written influential critical essays,
commenting on his own work as well as that of other artists, and
exploring through text many of the theoretical concerns addressed
in his artwork--about perception, materiality, space, and the
process of artmaking. "Have I Reasons "presents seventeen of
Morris's essays, six of which have never been published before.
Written over the past fifteen years, the essays, along with the
volume's many illustrations, provide an invaluable record of the
recent thought of a major American artist.
The writings are arranged chronologically, beginning with
"Indiana Street," a vivid autobiographical account of the artist's
early years in Kansas City, Missouri. "Have I Reasons" includes
reflections on Morris's own site-specific installations;
transcripts of seminars he conducted in conjunction with
exhibitions; and the textual element of "The Birthday Boy," the
two-screen video-and-sound piece he installed at the Galleria
dell'Accademia in Florence, Italy, on the occasion of the five
hundredth anniversary of Michelangelo's "David." Essays range from
original interpretations of Cezanne's Mont Sainte-Victoire
paintings and Jasper Johns' early work to engagements with one of
Morris's most significant interlocutors, the philosopher Donald
Davidson. "Have I Reasons" conveys not only Morris's enduring deep
interest in philosophy and issues of resemblance and representation
but also his more recent turn toward directly addressing
contemporary social and political issues such as corporate excess
and preemptive belligerence.
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