Sarah Morris

Big Ben


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Sarah Morris born 1967
Screenprint on paper
Image: 760 × 600 mm
Presented by The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games 2012


This work is part of a portfolio of twelve prints by British artists that was commissioned by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to commemorate the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The contributing artists were Fiona Banner, Michael Craig-Martin, Martin Creed, Tracey Emin, Anthea Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Gary Hume, Sarah Morris, Chris Ofili, Bridget Riley, Bob and Roberta Smith and Rachel Whiteread. Creed, Hamilton, Hodgkin, Ofili, Riley and Whiteread were invited to create images for the Olympic Games while Banner, Craig-Martin, Emin, Hume, Morris and Smith created images for the Paralympic Games. The portfolio was produced in an edition of 150.

Since the mid-1990s Sarah Morris has been creating complex, geometric, abstract paintings derived from cityscapes and architectural details, origami patterns and signs and symbols. To celebrate the Paralympic Games coming to London, Morris has created an abstract representation of one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, Big Ben in Westminster. The reference to time calls to mind the competitive element of the Games. The grids and vivid colours Morris has used create a sense of dynamism and also evoke images of athletics tracks, swimming lanes, and other track and field markings.

Further reading
Julia Beaumont-Jones, A Century of Prints in Britain, London 2017, pp.33–4, reproduced p.226.

Leyla Fakhr
November 2011

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