Rebecca Morris, Untitled (#01–10), 2010, oil and spray paint on canvas, 84 x 72".

Rebecca Morris

Harris Lieberman

Rebecca Morris, Untitled (#01–10), 2010, oil and spray paint on canvas, 84 x 72".

“Abstraction never left, motherfuckers.” Los Angeles painter Rebecca Morris adopts a confrontational tone in her 2006 text Manifesto (For Abstractionists and Friends of the Non-Objective), but viewers less intimately invested in the rise and fall and rise of her chosen mode may wonder at the necessity of such combative sloganeering. It may be true that when Morris graduated from art school back in the mid-1990s, other practices were in the spotlight, but is there still a need to bolster work of this kind with a pose of such clubbish toughness? Perhaps I’m taking her apparent indignation the wrong way; when paintings are marked by the kind of joie de vivre that is evident here, even a seeming insult can turn out to be something closer to an expression of glee.

In five large canvases, Morris ranges across a broad landscape of forms and finishes, exploring a painterly logic that

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