Morris studied art at the Kansas City Art Institute. After a stint in the Army Corps of Engineers he began making Abstract Expressionist paintings. In 1956, he moved to New York City where he joined the avant-garde scene and began producing and exhibiting neo-Dada sculptures.
Morris later went on to expand on the minimalist style using a variety of media, from performance to plywood. One of his large-scale works was composed of piles of earth and felt. A common theme was fear of nuclear war.