Joel Morrison

Joel Morrison | New Works

6 May 2017 till 15 August 2017

Opening night and book signing: Saturday May 6, 5-7 pm
The artist will be present during the opening to sign his book.

This Spring, Reflex Gallery is thrilled to announce the first solo show in the Benelux by American sculptor Joel Morrison.

The LA-based artist has earned international acclaim for his highly polished composite sculptures cast in stainless steel. Reflex presents a selection of recent work, as well as four new and unseen pieces.

Classical busts adorned with a forest of anvils, a cheekily positioned croissant, or other incongruous street objects. A giant weather balloon stuffed into a shopping cart. A punched-in disco ball in a bear trap. Immediately funny, arresting pieces that draw the viewer in, inviting a raft of association and meaning.

At first, the pure sheen of these sculptures is what dazzles; the slick, flawless finish and the instant humour reminds of Jeff Koons, Anish Kapoor, Sherrie Levine and other pop-art giants.

“You have to laugh it off first, before you can have a serious conversation,” Morrison says, inviting us to look again. The weather balloon is in fact the sort that carries information about atmospheric pressure back to earth; the shopping cart a symbol of the disenfranchised, an LA homeless person pushing their belongings by the side of the road.

High and low; street and science; the future and the present. All these ideas suggested and explored in one work. But Morrison isn’t forcing the point – he invites the viewer to draw their own conclusion, to enjoy the work on whichever level they land at.

Just as Morrison explores concepts of high and low art, his own production methods contain that same dichotomy. Morrison came to the idea of stainless steel out of a fascination with a certain 1960s west coast aesthetic – a movement known as Light and Space – and wanted to explore the idea of reflective surfaces in his work.

Looking around him in downtown LA, the shiniest of the shiny were the polished-up car bumpers and tyre rims. And it was via the car industry there he found the expertise to cast his works into steel, in an industrial foundry. He works in close partnership with a team of industrial craftsmen who polish metal in body shops and factories – far from the usual art-school trained apprentices in some Koons-esque atelier. By assembling his collages and putting them through his unique process, that he could turn street objects into Hermes jewellery.

The beautiful, highly polished reflective surfaces of his work, constantly reabsorbing and refracting their surroundings are, as he puts it “far from monochrome. These are paintings that are always changing – appropriately for our ADD, time-poor world.”

Dystopian, complex, alluring – Morrison’s work is nothing if not contradictory. “I want people to look beyond the façade,” he says.

A book accompanying the exhibition will be for sale at the gallery. The book gives an overview of Morrison’s work from 2001 to 2017 and contains an introduction by Gay Gassmann.

Gay Gassmann is an academically trained art historian and her art world career spans over 30 years as an art consultant, writer, and editor.  She graduated with a B.A. in art history from the American University of Paris and received a master’s degree in the history of the decorative arts from the Cooper Hewitt/Parsons School of Design in New York City and spent two years in the Department of Decorative Arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Gassmann is a passionate advocate for contemporary art. As the contributing art editor to T: The New York Times Style Magazine she contributes to the monthly page, ‘A Picture and A Poem’, and to art driven features.

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Past shows (selection)

Unseen

Sep 21st - Sep 23rd 2018

In Times Of Plenty | The Shape Of Things Today

Jul 7th - Sep 4th 2018

Ichwan Noor | Ichwan Noor | Beetle Sphere

May 26th - Jun 30th 2018

Miles Aldridge | Miles Aldridge | ART HISTORY

Apr 7th - May 22nd 2018

Keith Coventry | Keith Coventry | Junk & Pure Junk

Feb 24th - Apr 4th 2018

New Beginnings

Jan 3rd - Feb 17th 2018

Roger Ballen | Roger Ballen – Ballenesque – a Retrospective

Nov 23rd - Dec 30th 2017

Unseen Photo Fair 2017

Sep 22nd - Sep 24th 2017

Chen Nong | Chen Nong | Silk Road

Sep 16th - Nov 11th 2017

Iris Schomaker | IRIS SCHOMAKER | Come To The Edge

Feb 25th - Apr 26th 2017

Unseen Photo Fair 2016

Sep 23rd - Sep 25th 2016

Marcus Harvey | Marcus Harvey | SHIPBUILDING | New Works

Nov 25th - Jan 7th 2017

Sculpture Project Gelderlandplein | Permanently On View

Donald Baechler | Donald Baechler | New Works

Sep 16th - Nov 15th 2016

Photo London 2016 Somerset House, Booth no. X2

May 18th - May 22nd 2016

Irina Ionesco | Irina Ionesco | Ma réalité rêvée

Mar 19th - May 10th 2016

Unseen Photo Fair 2015

Sep 18th - Sep 20th 2015

Andrew Moore | Andrew Moore | New Works from Dirt Meridian and Cuba

Nov 28th - Feb 20th 2016

Todd Hido | Todd Hido|Selections From A Survey: ‘Khrystyna’s World’

Sep 12th - Nov 21st 2015

Araki | Nobuyoshi Araki | Alluring Hell

Jun 6th - Aug 15th 2015

Araki | Araki | August and Megumi Kagurazaka

Dec 20th - Feb 28th 2015

Barry Reigate | One Cannot Get Fingerprints From A Rock

Oct 4th - Dec 6th 2014

Unseen Photofair 2014

Sep 18th - Sep 21st 2014

Beauty of Darkness II

Jun 21st - Aug 4th 2014

Miles Aldridge | One Black & White and Twenty Four Colour Photographs

Mar 8th - May 10th 2014

Robert Yarber | Robert Yarber | Panic Pending

Dec 6th - Jan 25th 2014

Artissima 2013

Nov 8th - Nov 10th 2013

Harland Miller | Harland Miller | Wherever You Are Whatever You’re Doing This One’s For You

Sep 20th - Nov 24th 2013

Unseen 2013

Sep 26th - Sep 29th 2013

Something Like Summer

Jul 17th - Sep 13th 2013

John Copeland | All We Ever Wanted Was Everything

May 25th - Jul 16th 2013

Hisaji Hara | Hisaji Hara | A Photographic Portrayal of the Paintings of Balthus

Mar 23rd - May 11th 2013

Arco 2013

Feb 13th - Feb 17th 2013

Chen Nong | Chen Nong | Climbing To Moon

Sep 29th - Dec 31st 2012

Pulse Miami Contemporary Art Fair

Dec 6th - Dec 9th 2012

Daido Moriyama | Daido Moriyama | Journey For Something

May 19th - Jul 28th 2012

Marcus Harvey | Marcus Harvey | Glass Paintings

Apr 7th - May 16th 2012

Arco Madrid 2012

Feb 15th - Feb 19th 2012

Roger Ballen | Roger Ballen | Animal Abstraction

Nov 12th - Dec 10th 2011

Harland Miller | Harland Miller | Rocky 6

Jul 9th - Sep 13th 2011

Moby | ‘Destroyed’ – Booksigning and Exhibition

May 31st - Jun 16th 2011

Araki | Nobuyoshi Araki | It Was Once a Paradise

Jun 1st - Jul 16th 2011

| John Copeland | Times of Grace

Nov 27th - Feb 15th 2011

Andrew Moore | Andrew Moore | Making History

Apr 10th - Jun 7th 2010

Harland Miller | Harland Miller | I’ll Never Forget What I Can’t Remember

Sep 18th - Nov 9th 2010

| Kristen as seen by Miles Aldridge and Chantal Joffe

Mar 14th - Jun 7th 2010

Alla Esipovich | No Comment

Jan 15th - Mar 13th 2010

Contemporary and Vintage Photography

Sep 26th - Nov 28th 2009

David Lachapelle | David LaChapelle | The Rape of Africa

Jun 6th - Jul 31st 2009

Bill Owens | Bill Owens | Riots & New Suburbia

Feb 28th - Apr 4th 2009

Miles Aldridge | Miles Aldridge | Acid Candy

May 3rd - Jul 5th 2008