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Robert Morris: Labyrinths—Voice—Blind Time exhibition poster

Contributed by Nathan Prost on Apr 1st, 2023. Artwork published in
April 1974
Robert Morris: Labyrinths—Voice—Blind Time exhibition poster 1
Source: © 2023 Robert Morris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. License: All Rights Reserved.

This poster was produced by American artist Robert Morris (1931–2008) to promote his exhibition titled Labyrinths—Voice—Blind Time, organized by Leo Castelli Gallery in conjunction with Sonnabend Gallery in New York.

The complex graphic composition incorporates images and text in a labyrinthine arrangement, reflecting the themes of the exhibition and Morris’s concern with concepts of space, time, and perception.

From an article by Pedro Morais for Le Quotidien de l’Art (translated):

[Morris] posed shirtless with a Nazi helmet and chains for his companion and art historian Rosalind Krauss: the poster made in 1974, inspired by sadomasochistic aesthetics and mocking the misogyny of artists of minimal art, remained famous.

According to WikiArt, the portrait –

was part of his continuing dialogue with the artist Lynda Benglis, with whom he had previously collaborated on film projects. In the ad, featured in Artforum magazine, Morris is seen from the waist up, flexing his muscles and outfitted only in S & M gear: a German Army helmet, aviator sunglasses, steel chains, and a spiked collar. While striking in itself, Morris’s hypermasculine self-portrait is important for prompting an image that gave rise to a huge controversy on the pages of Artforum: a centerfold ad in that same magazine featuring a photograph of Benglis, naked but for a pair of sunglasses, a diamond earring, and sporting an enormous dildo. While Morris’s image barely raised an eyebrow, “the Benglis ad” was met with an angry uproar that dramatically illustrated the sexual double standard. Interestingly, one of the loudest voices of condemnation against was the art critic Rosalind Krauss, who had actually photographed Morris for the Castelli-Sonnabend poster; along with other editors of Artforum, Krauss called the ad “an object of extreme vulgarity” that succeeded in “brutalizing ourselves and, we think, our readers.”

The use of Eurostile Extended integrates the poster in a modern design. Eurostile (1962) marks a contemporary typographic style for the time.

The poster was offset printed and measures 36¾×23⅞″ (93.3×60.6 cm). It has since become a sought-after item in contemporary art circles.

Robert Morris: Labyrinths—Voice—Blind Time exhibition poster 2
Source: Alpha 137 Gallery. License: All Rights Reserved.
Robert Morris: Labyrinths—Voice—Blind Time exhibition poster 3
Source: Invaluable. License: All Rights Reserved.


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