George L. K. Morris

Hirschl and Adler Galleries

The retrospective of George L. K. Morris was worthwhile, even though the work was not very good. Morris’ paintings are typical of so much American painting of a somewhat earlier generation, the generation of Dove and Joseph Stella, in being cerebral and emotive in almost equal measure—in which respect they are truly a kind of Abstract Expressionism. It may be my temperament, not Morris’, but I think it is the emotivity that keeps the work from being better than it is. After all, Morris is an intelligent painter, and in addition the abstract models to which he looks are both homogeneous as a group (Picasso, Gris, Léger, Delaunay) and extremely lucid themselves, which is to say that they are easily intelligible. With all this going for him, there would have been no reason why Morris could not do good work more consistently than he has, if something had not prevented him from using his

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