art.” When she returned to New York, she won a coveted place on the Whitney Museum of American Art independent study program and began painting, while working as an assistant to Jeff Koons.
In 1996 she held her first show, for the influential White Cube gallery in London. “I packed a very big suitcase and ended up living [in London] for the next six years,” she remembers. “It was the perfect city to be in: the fashion world, the art world and the music world were all in one place.”
“I do THINK that you can have it all. Even those things that you don’t NECESSARILY WANT to have”
Morris says she is one of the few contemporary art stars who never went to art school. Does she regret it? “I’m not someone who looks back and wonders if I could have done things differently,” she says.
“The path I took was the path that I had to take.”
For the past 12 years, Morris has been based back in New York. She and her husband, artist Liam Gillick, with whom she has an 11-year-old son, Orson, divorced two years ago, at which point she moved into the Rudolph apartment. A blank slate, I suggest. “Blindingly white,” she replies.
But it is not only her home that reflects Morris’ stark aesthetic. In fashion, she prefers simplicity above all. “I wear mainly black, or midnight navy,” she says. “If I do wear color, it’s a very specific orange-red, yellow or cyan blue.”
Is she drawn to the digital prints that have populated runways in recent seasons, which echo the geometry of her art? “There are designers who do amazing things with print, but it’s not for me,” Morris confesses. “They are too distracting for my character. I like a very plain, color-coded closet.”
Her studio is in Long Island City, an area that has become a locus for artists who want more space
and light than Manhattan can offer. In the evenings, she loves to cook for friends – her circle is an eclectic group of artists, architects and film-world types, including the actress Uma Thurman, whom she met “when our sons became friends”.
Tomorrow, she will be back in her studio, pushing forward
with two films currently in production, as well as developing artwork for several shows in 2015. How does she juggle film, painting and family? “I have a team at the studio, and my galleries help enormously with my projects,” she explains. “I do think you can have it all. Even the things you don’t necessarily want to have!”
SARAH’s go-to pieces
have attitude. I have many…”
“I LOVE BLACK skirts, straight or flared, as long as they are waisted.”
“STILETTOS IN unusual colors are my staple.”
Dress by Givenchycredits
Hair: Brian Buenvista. Makeup: Quinn Murphy. Production: Nikki McClarron