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Indian Composition No. 6

George Lovett Kingsland Morris

American Art

This composition of dynamic forms is one of twelve works that George Lovett Kingsland Morris invested with references to Native American culture in an effort to create a distinctly American mode of abstraction, Morris was won over to abstraction during his stay in Paris from 1929 to 1930, when he studied with the avant-garde French artists Fernand Léger and Amédée Ozenfant at the Académie de l'Art Moderne. Although Morris soon was among the most vigorous promoters of European-inspired abstract art in the United States, he encouraged artists to establish an original American vocabulary of forms by turning to indigenous arts for inspiration. Here the Native American references include the allusion to the texture of birch bark, the arcing, arrowlike form at the left, and the tooth- or clawlike forms in the lower register.

MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1938
DIMENSIONS 48 x 33 in. (121.9 x 83.8 cm) Frame: 56 x 39 7/8 x 2 in. (142.2 x 101.3 x 5.1 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed lower right: "Morris"
INSCRIPTIONS All on verso: Inscribed at bottom, upside down and crossed out: "George L. K. Morris / Composition / 1937" Inscribed at top: "George L. K. Morris / 1938 [black rectangle] / Indian Composition No. 6"
CREDIT LINE Bequest of Laura L. Barnes and gift of Mr. and Mrs. Allan D. Emil, by exchange and Dick S. Ramsay Fund
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION George Lovett Kingsland Morris (American, 1905–1975). Indian Composition No. 6, 1938. Oil on canvas, 48 x 33 in. (121.9 x 83.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Laura L. Barnes and gift of Mr. and Mrs. Allan D. Emil, by exchange and Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 2006.42. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2006.42_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 2006.42_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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RIGHTS STATEMENT © Frelinghuysen Morris Foundation
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