New York

Sarah Morris

Petzel Gallery | West 18th Street

Sarah Morris’s recent paintings of midtown Manhattan buildings are very New York indeed: stylish, hip, loud, reflexive, and assured. Isolating fragments of the glass-curtain facades, the works are rendered in forceful colors—citron, ocher, electric blue, fuchsia—representing the blazing neon light reflected by neighboring buildings and adjacent advertising signage. The structures Morris focuses on are among the more recognizable in the area, including the Seagram Building, mother ship of International Style, and two Skidmore, Owings & Merrill projects (9 West 57th Street and the Grace Building), both exhibiting the too-showy high-modern hubris characteristic of early ’70s Mies spin-offs.

Morris wants to consider the iconic and the larger-than-life, and Midtown is an ideal site for such an excavation. As home to Times Square and corporate Manhattan, this is what the world envisions as the

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