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Inherent Structure Artists’ Talk

Public Programs

Laura Owens. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Noah Webb.
Rebecca Morris. Courtesy of the artist and Corbett vs. Dempsey and Barbara Weiss, Berlin.
Ruth Root. Courtesy of the artist; 356 Mission Road, Los Angeles; and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photo: Nina Choi.

Inherent Structure Artists' Talk

Rebecca Morris, Laura Owens, and Ruth Root in conversation

Moderated by George Rush

Fri, May 18, 2018 5:30 PM

Expand your perceptions of abstract painting at this informal conversation with three artists featured in the Wexner Center’s spring exhibition, Inherent Structure.

Rebecca Morris, Laura Owens, and Ruth Root address the legacies of abstraction through their distinctive but ever-evolving approaches to painting that are inflected by philosophy, history, memory, humor, irony, and more. The trio will discuss these influences in an engaging talk introduced by Wexner Center Senior Curator of Exhibitions Michael Goodson and moderated by Ohio State Department of Art Associate Professor George Rush.

Stay afterward for complimentary snacks, a cash bar, and DJ Citizen Dorian S in the lower lobby 6–8:30 PM—all part of our Spring Exhibition Preview. Inherent Structure is on view at the Wex through August 12, 2018.


More about the speakers

Rebecca Morris is a painter fiercely committed to abstraction, her work pushing deeply into a constant interrogation of materials, forms, processes, and outcomes. A showcase for her extensive arsenal of techniques and ideas, her ambitious large-scale canvases create patchworks out of different manners of mark-making and toy inventively with questions of frame dynamics and figure/ground illusions, often within a remarkably shallow pictorial space. Based in Los Angeles, Morris has been the subject of multiple exhibitions in recent years, including the Whitney Biennial 2014 in New York and Made in L.A. 2016 at the Hammer Museum and solo presentations at 356 Mission, Los Angeles (2015); Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht, Netherlands (2014); and LAXART (2014).

Laura Owens, one of the most innovative painters of her generation, was the subject of a major mid-career survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 2017–18, which traveled to the Dallas Museum of Art and will also travel to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Her work is characterized by a ranging, nuanced, and humorous approach to the medium—as well as by vibrant color and an embrace of eclectic styles. Other recent solo exhibitions include those at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2016); Secession, Vienna (2015); and Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany (2011). Owens was born in Ohio and studied at California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, and Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. She lives and works in Los Angeles, and is the cofounder with Wendy Yao and Gavin Brown of 356 Mission.

Ruth Root has developed a robust practice surrounding the discourse of abstract painting—looking awry to question legacies of abstraction while creating thoughtfully crafted works tinged with a healthy dose of humor. She is known for challenging and conflating formal and ideological notions of surface and support; inventing her own color wheel based on secondary and tertiary colors; and creating patterned fabrics in Photoshop that explore constellations of influence, among other strategies deployed in her work. Root’s recent solo exhibitions include presentations at 356 Mission, Los Angeles (2017); The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (2015–16); and the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, NH (2014). Her work has also been included in recent group exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Design, NY (2018); Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany (2015); and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY (2005).

George Rush is associate professor in Ohio State’s Department of Art and teaches painting and drawing. He has been exhibiting internationally since 2001, with solo shows in Copenhagen, Madrid, Miami, New York, Texas, Ohio, and Michigan. His most recent project, Various Walls with Windows, was presented at Ohio Wesleyan’s Ross Art Museum in the fall of 2017.

Michael Goodson is the curator of Inherent Structure.

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