Big Ben 2012

Sarah Morris (1967 - )

Screenprint with glaze


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© London 2012 / Sarah Morris

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  • About the work
    Country: Japan
    City: Tokyo
    Place: British Embassy

    This print is an abstract, dynamic representation of one of London’s most iconic landmarks, Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster’s clocktower. Morris’s abstract, geometrically intricate paintings are inspired by architecture, often incorporating patterns, signs and symbols. In Big Ben, an ordered arrangement of intersecting blocks – made up of vertical lines, arrows, circles and squares – create a sense of dynamism which resemble the markings and lanes of athletic track and field events. This work is part of a set of limited-edition prints, commissioned from some of the UK’s most critically acclaimed artists to celebrate London hosting the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympics. A set of these prints was presented to the Government Art Collection.


    Since the mid-1990s, Morris has been making complex abstract paintings and films. These works, based on different cities, are derived from a close analysis of architectural details, combined with a critical sensitivity to the psychology of a city and its key protagonists. She states: ‘Architecture for me is not just a subject matter, but a social form. My images are not images of buildings; they imply the notion [of] how to position myself as an artist. I can learn from these forms and institutions. Two things involve all my interest: the desire to figure things out and the wish to codify and reduce things to an essence. I want to understand and then crack a system I am not necessarily part of.’

  • About the artist
    Sarah Morris was born in 1967 in the UK and grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. She currently divides her time between New York and London. Recent solo exhibitions of her work have been held at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2018); Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Finland (2017); M Museum, Leuven, Belgium (2015); Kunsthalle Bremen, Germany (2013); and Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio (2012). Her work can be found in public collections worldwide, including: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Centre d’Art Contemporain, Le Consortium, Dijon; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Collection, London; and Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, MA.
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  • Details
    Big Ben 2012
    Portfolio Title
    London 2012
    HDC 2/10
    Screenprint with glaze
    height: 76.00 cm, width: 60.00 cm
    Presented by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, October 2011
    verso, br: SM - HDC 2 / 2011
    London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (gift)
    GAC number