Composition #9. Oil on canvas. 360x250 mm; 14 1/8x9 7/8 inches. Signed in oil, lower right recto and signed, titled and dated in oil, verso. 1936.
Published: Zabriskie Gallery, Zabriskie Fifty Years, 2004, page 86 (illustrated).
Morris was born in New York into a prominent New York family. He attended Yale University and studied with John Sloan (1871-1951) and Kenneth Hayes Miller (1876-1952) at the Art Students League of New York in 1928-29. In 1929, he traveled to Paris where he studied with Fernand Léger (1881-1955) and Amédée Ozenfant (1866-1966) and devoted himself to abstract art. He practiced his own form of Cubism, which was steadfast throughout his career even as Expressionism became the preferred form of abstraction. He also advocated for the recognition of an American abstract art, relaunching the Partisan Review (of which he was an editor and contributed as a writer) and was a founding member of the American Abstract Artists, acting as its president in the 1940s.