Joel Morrison

United States 1976


Joel Morrison
Joel Morrison
United States
November 21, 2014

Joel Morrison is a Los Angeles-based sculptor, born in Seattle, Washington in 1976. He is best known for his composite sculptures, which are often constructed from found objects, cast in fiberglass or high-polish stainless steel.

He studied and received a BA in English Literature at Central Washington University, and an MFA in sculpture at the Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California.

Morrison’s sculpture draws upon art historical reference and popular culture. Pairing quotations from various genres of art with common items and detritus, like plastic bottles, weather balloons, plaster busts, shopping carts, light bulbs and bubble wrap, he reorients objects from everyday life by integrating them into themes of Pop, Surrealism, and Classicism.

Morrison uses a myriad of technical processes to create cast stainless steel sculptures with bright, high polished surfaces, reflecting the object’s surroundings. He demonstrates his technical ability to manipulate and harmonize these chosen objects – neck braces, wasp nests and bullets – juxtaposing various genres and creating sculptures that range from neo-classical Greek busts to grotesque, amorphous forms. They form a reinvented dystopia, where mundane objects are glorified and classified.

One constant in Morrison’s body of work is a dynamic exchange between his own brand of humor and the canonized body of art history. Joel’s sculpture New Madrid from 2012, displays a wall hanging tableau covered with a cargo blanket, with stitched pattern which mimics the geometric shapes from Frank Stella’s famous monolithic work Getty Tomb, from 1959. Morrison’s hint at obscured canvas holds limitless possibility. Abstracting all that it reflects, the facade envelops the color and shape from the world in real time in its ever-changing surface.

Morrison’s work has been exhibited internationally and is included in numerous public and private collections worldwide. In 2006, he was a featured artist in the California Biennial held at the Orange County Museum of Art, as well as a participant in the critically acclaimed Thing exhibition at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. In 2010, Morrison was featured in Six Solos at the Wexner Center for the Arts. His numerous other group and solo exhibitions have been at venues throughout the world, including the Kolbe Museum and Haus Am Waldsee Museum, Berlin, and Santa Monica Museum of Art. Gagosian Gallery has held solo exhibitions of Morrison’s work in Beverly Hills in 2008, New York at Madison Avenue in 2011, and Hong Kong in 2012.

Morrison is currently living and working in Los Angeles, CA.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2014Horror VacuiGagosian Gallery, Geneva, SwitzerlandGroup
2014POP SCULPTURE POP CULTURELeila Heller Gallery, New York, New York, U.S.A.Group
2014The Avant-Garde CollectionOrange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA, U.S.A.Group
2014Horror VacuiGagosian Gallery, GenevaGroup
2014Pop Sculpture - Pop CultureLeila Heller Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2011California Dreamin – Myths And Legends Of Los AngelesGalerie Almine Rech, Paris, FranceGroup
2011Goldmine: Contemporary Works From The Collection Of Sirje And Michael GoldUAM – University Art Museum, Long Beach, CA, U.S.A.Group
2010Six SolosWexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH, U.S.ASolo
2010SUDOKUGalerie Michael Schultz, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2010Irrelevant: Local Emerging Asian Artists Who Dont Make Work About Being AsianArario New York, New York City, NYGroup
2009Joel Morrison - Free Plastic SurgeryGalerie Michael Schultz, BerlinSolo
2009Superficiality and SuperexcrescenceBen Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.Group
2008CircusGagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA, U.S.A.Solo
2008SignalsOrange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA, U.S.A.Group
2008EvolutionMax Lang Gallery, New York, NY, U.S.A.Group
2008Art and Illusion: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman FoundationRoseville Arts! Blue Line Gallery, Roseville, CA, USAGroup
2008The 2008 Peekskill ProjectHVCCA - Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NYGroup
2007Tangible Sculpture TodayKolbe Museum, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2007The Eclectic Eye: Selections of Fantasy and IllusionCAC, Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, New Orleans, LA, U.S.A.Group
2007Die Macht des Dinglichen. SKULPTUR HEUTE! (Bernhard-Heiliger-Stiftung)Georg Kolbe Museum, BerlinGroup
2006Free Plastic SurgeryGallery Michael Schultz, Berlin, GermanySolo
2006California BiennialOrange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA, U.S.A.Group
2006Anstoss BerlinHaus Am Waldsee Museum, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2006Bisky MorrisonGalerie Michael Schultz, BerlinGroup
2005Joel Morrison: Glocal 02 Fesel Modern ArtKunstTachometer PALMA DE MALLORCA, Palma de MallorcaSolo
2005Thing: New Sculpture from Los AngelesHammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.Group
2005Temporary ImportsArt Forum, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2005Brave New WorldMcClain Gallery, Houston, TX, U.S.A.Group
2005PaperFaure Light Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.Group
2005GLOCAL II: Dreidimensionale Ideen, Skulpturen und ZeichnungenFesel Modern Art, SonsbeckGroup
2004New WorksGriffin Contemporary, Santa Monica, CA, U.S.A.Solo
2004Lemmy Kilmister’s MoleArt Forum Berlin, Berlin, GermanySolo
2003Project RoomSanta Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA, U.S.A.Solo
2003Cologne SculptorArt Cologne, Cologne, GermanySolo
2003ACE InternationalACE Gallery, New York, NY, U.S.A.Solo
2003Minimalism and MoreFrederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Malibu, CA, U.S.A.Group
2002Heads and TorsosACE Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2002Heads and TorsosACE Gallery, New York, NY, U.S.A.Solo
2002California Art from the Frederick R. Weisman CollectionFrederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Malibu, CA, U.S.A.Group
2001SketchesACE Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.Solo
2001In Search of the Big Bulbous BullyEast Gallery at Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, U.S.A.Solo
2001BloodlinesRoberts and Tilton Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.Group