Suzanne Lovell Inc

Fine Art

Power couple Annie Morris & Idris Khan

November 13, 2018

London-based artist duo Annie Morris and Idris Khan are rising stars of the Contemporary art world. A whirlwind romance and marriage quickly followed after a common friend introduced the artists to one another. Although they come from different backgrounds, Annie and Idris are united in their passion for their art and what they admit to be “obsessive” methods.

Artists Idris Khan (British, b. 1978) and Annie Morris (British, b. 1978) pictured in Idris’s portion of their adjoining studios. Image courtesy of Vogue.

Greatly influenced by Paul Klee and Robert Rauschenberg as noted by Vanity Fair, Morris studied at the prestigious École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, in Paris. Morris completed her formal education at London’s Slade School of Fine Art in her native London. While she primarily created sculptures, Morris was always painting and was attracted to different materials.

Nearly 30,000 meticulously hand-painted clothes pins make up this Burberry gown. In 2006 Burberry’s Creative Director, Christopher Bailey, commissioned Morris to produce the gown. Details courtesy of Vanity Fair and image courtesy of Pinterest.

Her first success came in 2003 illustrating her friend’s book The Man with The Dancing Eyes. A hugely successful exhibit followed where all artworks were placed. In 2006 Burberry’s Creative Director, Christopher Bailey, commissioned Morris to create a couture gown made of individually hand painted clothes pins. The gown was made of nearly 30,000 pins and the gown displayed in a prominent Parisian boutique. Ever since Morris has been on the radar as one of Britain’s most popular and collectible young artists.

Annie Morris (British, b. 1978), Installation view of signature Stack sculptures at Maison Louis Vuitton Place Vendôme. Image and details courtesy of The Spaces.

Morris is best known for her cast bronze sculptures of orbs in various pigments which she refers to as Stacks. Once the bronze is cast, Morris layers the bronze with pigments, oxides, and nitrates so the color penetrates and is as uniformly saturated as possible. We were privileged to install one of Morris’s Stacks for our Miami Beach Residence client which was featured in Luxe magazine.

Morris’s artworks are in the collections of the Hôtel de Crillon, the Hearst Collection, the Cranford Collection, and the University of Colorado Art Museum to name a few.

Idris Khan is no shrinking violet when it comes to talent or success. Since receiving his Masters’s Degree at the Royal College of Art in London Khan found inspiration and success in both his diverse heritage and family life.

Idris Khan (British, b. 1978), Displacement (detail), 2015. Large scale stamped piece in situ, dimensions variable. Unique. Image and details courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery.

Initially Khan worked with chromogenic prints and would manipulate the photographs. Having now extended his oeuvre to include painting and sculpture, Khan still uses a meditative stamping process to explore deeper meanings.  As Khan explained to Interview Magazine, he grew up practicing the Islamic rituals of praying five times daily with his Pakistani father. Now years later the same repetitive practice has embedded itself into his art via melodic patterns and processes.

Idris Khan (British, b. 1978), Overture, 2015. Seven glass sheets, aluminum frame. 96″ H X 78″ W X 156″ D. Image and details courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery.

In 2012 Khan was commissioned by the British Museum in London to create a new wall for the exhibition Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam. Additionally Khan created Seven Times, a floor sculpture, which was installed in the Great Court of the British Museum.

Most recently Khan installed a massive installation in the United Arab Emirates. For this installation Khan was awarded the American Architecture Prize for cultural architecture and the CODAworx design and art award. Last but certainly not least, Khan was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2017 for his services to art in Queen Elizabeth’s 2017 Birthday Honours List.

An installation view from Re-Imaginings at Galerie Isa. Image courtesy of Galerie Isa.

In celebration of their “distinctly individual and wonderfully different” practices Galerie Isa showed both Morris and Khan’s work side by side in the exhibit Re-Imaginings which came to a close January 2018. While Morris and Khan are each well established in their own practices, it’s not surprising to learn how they influence and encourage one another. Hopefully there are more exhibits like Re-Imaginings in the future as we watch these incredible artists for what’s next!