He did change with the tide, nonetheless, producing within the early 1980s darkly baroque meditations on the specter of nuclear destruction. In a sequence he titled “Firestorm,” he created heavy sculptural frames through which skulls, clawing arms, ropes, chains, phallic kinds and different symbols of violence and battle had been forged; inside, infernally glowing pastels evoking J. M. W. Turner abstractly envisioned the world’s fiery finish.
In addition to his spouse, whom he married in 1984, Mr. Morris is survived by a daughter, Laura Morris, and a sister, Donna Caudle. Mr. Morris, who died in Kingston Hospital, lived in Gardiner, N.Y.
Into the 1990s Mr. Morris continued to supply draped felt works; heavy lead reliefs that recall his early, Jasper Johns-influenced works; and autobiographical installations utilizing textual content and sound.
In 2017, he offered his newest felt items whereas revisiting his earlier work in a present at the Castelli Gallery’s Upper East Side department. Since Oct. 30, the gallery has put new Morris works on view in “Banners and Curses,” a present that runs by means of Jan. 25.
From begin to end, as a sprawling retrospective exhibition mounted by the Guggenheim Museum in 1994 confirmed, Mr. Morris defied the standard rule of 1 type per artist.
Looking again on his profession, he wrote in his introduction to “Continuous Project Altered Daily,” a group of his essays printed in 1993: “I never set out to prove or demonstrate so much as to investigate. And I never set out to affirm so much as to negate.”
Yet it’s clear, too, that he was pushed by an abiding perception within the significance and energy of artwork. “In art’s irrational games and its depth of feelings,” he wrote in a late essay, “in its awe and cynicism, its mournings and derisions, its anger and grace, it bears witness to a dark century.”