American, born 1967
Points on a Line, 2010
HDCAM SR tape, edition 2/5
Running time: 35 minutes, 48 seconds
Pending Acquisition Funds, 2011
Since the mid-1990s, Sarah Morris has been making complex abstract paintings and films based on the psychology and key protagonists of different cities. Her paintings often evoke map-like grids in vivid colors that refer to the architectural motifs, urban vistas, and overall feeling of specific places. She employs some of the same concepts in her films. Points on a Line, 2010, focuses on two modernist architectural icons—Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House (completed in 1951) and Philip Johnson’s Glass House (completed in 1949)—in order to capture what she calls “the intellectual and design resonance” between the structures. The film documents the architects’ shared desire to build structures that change the way people think about “a house, a form and a context.” Over the course of several months, Morris filmed at both sites, and at other locations, including The Four Seasons restaurant, the Seagram Building, Mies’s infamous Lake Shore Drive Apartments, and Chicago’s Newberry Library. Morris employs The Four Seasons, a place that Johnson practically used as his personal office, as the meeting point between the two architects. Morris’s film, overlaid with an audibly influential soundtrack by the artist Liam Gillick, beautifully demonstrates a legacy of details and surface. By obtaining complete unrestricted access to each location of the film, Morris has woven art and architecture together against the cold corporate image of production.
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