George L. K. Morris, like his colleague Albert E. Gallatin, was born to a distinguished New York family– the Bronx's Morrisania was named for a distant relative. After studying literature at Yale University, Morris joined Gallatin on a trip to Europe where he stayed on to study with Fernand Léger, who became an important influence and a lifelong friend. Morris came back to New York a complete convert to hard-edged abstraction. Executed in 1933, the present work was done after his return to New York. By this time, Morris would have seen the ravages of the Depression; more than 4,000 banks had failed in 1933 when this work was painted. Morris painted bank scenes on several occasions, and here includes columns recalling architectural elements used in banks and wallpaper fragments inspired by Cubist collage.
Private collection, Katonah, New York, until 2018; By bequest to the present owner, 2018 until the present
Menconi + Schoelkopf, New York, The Park Avenue Cubists, April 26-June 4, 2021, no. 4, illus.
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