Parrish Art Museum opens Malcolm Morley. Painting, Paper, Process
Parrish Art Museum presents Malcolm Morley. Painting, Paper, Process, an exhibition on view November 10, 2012 through January 13, 2013.
For more than 40 years, the art of Malcolm Morley has heightened viewers’ perceptions and expanded the possibilities for ways of seeing. Little explored until now is the seminal role of paper in his art-making process, whether as watercolors that serve as sources for paintings, scale models made of paper and attached to the canvas, or in the dimensionality of free-standing paper sculpture. Explains Longwell, “Painting, Paper, Process will illustrate the artist’s working method while underscoring the seamless transition among paper mediums, including watercolor, lithography, etching, and monotype, and the dazzling passages of these inventive forays.”
Malcolm Morley: Painting, Paper, Process brings together works that have rarely been seen together and includes such diverse images as idyllic beach scenes; the artist’s beloved black and white border collie, Elsa, in play and repose; and knights in armor, WWII flying aces, and their present day inheritors, the sports stars who carry on the legacy of derring do. “I decided that this was contemporary mythology, and the sports stars were the heroes,” Morley says. “To be a hero, you have to take a risk, so of course the best ones are those that risk their lives—NASCAR drivers and people like that.” Ring of Fire (2009), the life-size, freestanding sculpture of a Motocross rider, is composed of heavyweight watercolor paper on an armature of plastic plumbing pipe. The “mud” on the piece is a mixture of paint and papier mâché flung with a toilet brush. “You can do a lot of things with paper,” Morley has said, “and I always think of sculpture as something in two dimensions that’s folded.”
Born in London in 1931, Malcolm Morley attended the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts and the Royal College of Art before moving to New York in 1958. Initially drawn to Abstract Expressionism, by 1967 he was working representationally and became associated with the Photorealists, among them Ralph Goings and Richard Estes. Morley, however, prefers the term Superrealism. “My interest,” he has said, “was on a much bigger issue than so called ‘copying,’ and I would always cringe when ‘copying’ would come up because I always thought of [my work] as an interpretation, of translating the thing into a painterly invention.”
Since his first exhibition in New York, Morley has had numerous shows in Europe and North America and has participated in many international exhibitions, including Documenta 5 and 6. Following his 1983 retrospective at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, Morley was the first artist awarded the Turner Prize for British artists. Subsequent presentations of his work include a survey of watercolors at the Tate Gallery, Liverpool (1991), a one-artist show at the Musée national d’art moderne—Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1993), and a retrospective at The Hayward Gallery, London (2001). Morley’s work can be found in museum collections worldwide. He has maintained a house and studio in Brookhaven on the East End of Long Island since 1983.
The Parrish Art Museum is the oldest cultural institution on the East End of Long Island, uniquely situated within one of the most concentrated creative communities in the United States. – www.parrishart.org