Sarah Morris. Creative Artists Agency (Los Angeles). 2005

Sarah Morris Creative Artists Agency (Los Angeles) 2005

  • Not on view

Glossy, bright, and geometric, this painting is part of a series by Morris that is inspired by the city of Los Angeles. Its title refers to the powerful Creative Artists Agency, a talent agency that is a key player in the invisible Hollywood network of actors, directors, and producers who are also the subjects of the artist's video Los Angeles (2004). The hexagonal structures are a visually complex interpretation of the web-like, convoluted power relationships that dominate the entertainment industry. Morris charts these connections to create a flashy, hard surface that reflects a culture of superficiality.

Gallery label from Out of Time: A Contemporary View, August 29, 2006–April 9, 2007.

Slick surfaces and shallow space operate literally and metaphorically in this painting, which is part of a group of works inspired by the city of Los Angeles. Morris’s medium is house paint straight from the can. "Gloss paint allows me the kind of manipulation of color that I don’t see as inspired by art history, but derived from the commercial and industrial world," she has explained. Her palette, with its bold colors and harsh contrasts, is more neon than nature. Lines and grids have long been staple elements of Morris's canvases. In earlier paintings, however, they typically suggest aspects of architecture—the steel grids of modernist facades, city plans, or the hard edges of swimming pools. In her L.A. paintings, Morris invokes less visible structures—in this case the Creative Artists Agency, a key player in Hollywood’s networks of influence. Also, she engages with the concept of the image on multiple levels: the work itself is an image, it references an agency devoted to controlling the images of the celebrity clients it represents, and it is about a city that is at the very epicenter of image production. In past projects Morris has focused on New York, Washington, D.C., Miami, and Las Vegas, always producing a film in tandem with her paintings. While the L.A. paintings diverge from earlier work in some respects, all the metropolises Morris has depicted are modern meccas of capitalism, entertainment, and communication—brash, quintessentially American centers of power.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007, p. 260.
Medium
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
Dimensions
7' 1/4" x 7' 1/4" (213.9 x 213.9 cm)
Credit
Fund for the Twenty-First Century
Object number
643.2005
Copyright
© 2018 Sarah Morris
Department
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos.

If you notice an error, please contact us at digital@moma.org.

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.