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Malcolm Morley

Malcolm Morley was one of the seminal figures of international contemporary art. Born and trained in England, Morley moved to New York in 1958. Under the influences of Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism he developed his own distinctive Hyperrealist style. This wry form of realism found its subject matter in different types of photographs (including pictures of old-master paintings, family portraits and images from travel brochures and calendars), which Morley transferred to the canvas using a grid system. His interest in the actual photographic object was often made concrete through the attention paid to details such as borders, tears or folds. Later on, he purposely broke away from the stylistic innovations that brought him his initial fame. Morley defied characterisation, moving through so-called abstract, hyperrealist, neo-romantic, and neo-expressionist painterly modes, while being attentive to his own biographical experiences.

Malcolm Morley was born in 1931 in London, United Kingdom and died in 2018 in Bellport, New York, USA. Malcolm Morley won the inaugural Turner Prize, London, in 1984 and has exhibited internationally throughout his career, including Documenta 5 and 6, and the Royal Academy’s pivotal group exhibition A New Spirit in Painting (1981).

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Selected Images

Selected media

In conversation with Sir Norman Rosenthal

On the occasion of History Painting (2016)