George L. K. Morris explored the labyrinth theme in numerous compositions throughout the 1950-60s. The classical labyrinth is an important motif to Cubism as it relates to its most important practitioner Pablo Picasso. "The mythical minotaur—part man, part bull—was Picasso's alter ego," observes Deborah Wye, "and part of a broader exploration of Classicism that persisted in his work for many years . . . For Picasso it expressed complex emotions at a time of personal turmoil. The minotaur symbolized lasciviousness, violence, guilt, and despair" (Picasso: Variations and Themes, New York, 2010). The labyrinth is the prison that encloses the minotaur, and becomes a dramatic statement from an astute student of the history of Cubism. In the present work, the centrifugal arrangement of objects leads the eye around a maze of receding space and patterned segments—some resembling stairs and tiled floors—to arrive at a key hole at the center.
[The Downtown Gallery, New York]; to Dr. Herbert Kayden and Dr. Gabrielle Reem, New York; By descent in the family to the present owner
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc., New York, George L.K. Morris: The Years 1945-1975, April 7-28, 1979, no. 25 // Menconi + Schoelkopf, New York, The Park Avenue Cubists, April 26-June 4, 2021, no. 8, illus.
Artist Notebooks: George L.K. Morris, Downtown Gallery records, 1824-1974, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
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