The Glass House Blog

Modern Views: Sarah Morris Film Premieres in New York

Points on a Line, a film directed by artist Sarah Morris, will premiere during the Modern Views event at Sotheby’s New York on October 6th. For ticket details, view the reply card or contact Christopher Roth (email: or phone: 203.594.9884 ext.7).

Sarah Morris Points on a Line 2010 35:44 min © Parallax

The Farnsworth House, Plano, Illinois and the Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut. Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe. Curator and architect. Architect and architect.   Points on a Line documents a shared desire to build structures that might change the way we think about a house, a form and a context. These two buildings were the result of shared ideas and collective desire. But they also complicate ideas of the copy and the original and the chronologies of Modernism.

 The two buildings demonstrate a legacy of focus upon details and surface – inside and outside. Capturing the tension of ego and authorship in precisely deferring architectural statements. By carefully documenting the daily maintenance of these two buildings and lingering over the precise placement of the structures in space and of objects within each structure, we are presented with a clear view of places that have gone beyond their initial use and become the intersection of a dialogue that was both personal and professional.

Sarah Morris Points on a Line 2010 35:44 min © Parallax

Morris’s deployment of cinematic codes in relation to architectural precision produces images that go beyond a record of functionality or the streamlining of needs. These are places that remain elusive despite their openness – structures that are open vessels where we search for markers of the corporate aesthetic to come and the legal wrangles that marked the struggle to complete and maintain them. Buildings that require constant representation and new documentation in order to recode and understand what came before and what came next. Obtaining complete unrestricted access for each location of the film, Morris has woven together art, architecture and corporate image production with flowers, the behavior of bees and the patterns of butterflies – window washing, cooking, power-broking and collecting.

Morris filmed at both sites over the course of several months, among other locations including The Four Seasons Restaurants, the Seagram Building, Mies van der Rohe’s infamous Lake Shore Drive, and Chicago’s Newberry Library.  Morris utilizes The Four Seasons, a place that Philip Johnson practically used as his personal office, as the meeting point between the two architects.

Sarah Morris Points on a Line 2010 35:44 min © Parallax

Ultimately, Points on a Line is a record of preservation of two structures and a document of power plays that left a mark in the pragmatic idealism of the late modern period.

An edition of the film will be donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It will become part of the artist’s series of films including: Midtown (1998), AM/PM (1999), Capital (2000), Miami (2002), Los Angeles (2004), Robert Towne (2006), 1972 (2008) and Beijing (2008). 

Sarah Morris is an internationally recognized artist, known for her complex abstractions, which play with architecture and the psychology of urban environments.  Morris views her paintings and films as parallel – both trace the urban, social and bureaucratic topologies.  In each medium she explores the psychology of the contemporary city and its architecturally encoded politics

Filed under: Modern Views

11 Responses

  1. […] here). The evening will feature an auction (complete catalog here) and the premiere of the film, Points on a Line, by artist Sarah Morris. ……………………………………………………………. […]

  2. […] here). The evening will feature an auction (complete catalogue here) and the premiere of the film, Points on a Line, by artist Sarah Morris. …………………………………………………………….   […]

  3. […] piece, A Tale of Two Houses. The article highlights the premiere of Sarah Morrris’ film, Points on a Line, at our upcoming Modern Views event in NYC on October […]

  4. Chris Woodhouse says:

    Will Points on a Line be shown/distributed anywhere else in the future? Independent theaters, museums, other non-profit organizations?

  5. […] area galleries fro the first time in about 8 years and specifically to look for this video piece:  “Points on a Line”, by Sarah Morris will be screened at New York’s Friedrich Petzel Gallery from February 18 to […]

  6. Is Points on a Line available for sale in DVD or Bluray format? Does anyone know if a showing is planned for Houston, Texas?

    • Hi Michael,

      Thanks for your interest in ‘Points on a Line’. Currently there are no plans to release the film on DVD, however if you’re in the Chicago area on May 3rd it will be on view from 6 – 8 pm for the Architecture and Design Film Festival, details @

      Visit our blog again soon for updates on when/where ‘Points on a Line’ will be shown next!

  7. Christopher Woodhouse says:

    Any plans for a showing in the Boston area?

  8. […] Points on a Line is the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s first contemporary art commission and calls attention to the Glass House’s commitment to exploring new ideas in documentation and preservation of our significant modern architectural heritage. The film will be shown with parallel  programming in various arts and cultural venues throughout the year, continuing the legacy of Philip Johnson and David Whitney by cultivating new talent and finding new methods to connect with and educate new audiences about the importance of our modern architectural heritage. Filming Points on a Line at the Mies Van der Rohe Farnsworth House / Photo: Sarah Morris Points on a Line 2010 35:44 min © Parallax […]

  9. UPDATE!

    Points on a Line will be on view at Art Basel beginning Monday June 13, 2011 & can be seen daily at the Glass House Visitor Center.

    Check out our latest blog post for more info:

    The Glass House

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