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Distributed for Reaktion Books

Malcolm Morley


This is the first comprehensive book on the work of the controversial artist Malcolm Morley. It covers his entire career to date, from his beginnings in England, through his receipt of the Turner Prize in 1984, to his 1999 statement that he was going to repaint all his pictures.

Born and trained in Britain but resident in America since 1958, Morley is best known as an exponent of Superrealism, his explorations of which were inspired by printed media. Superrealism represents only one aspect of Morley’s career, however. As his technique became increasingly free in the 1970s, he began to introduce so-called ’found’ objects into his work. In the 1980s, he increasingly used watercolors made while traveling as the basis for oil paintings. Besides travel, many of Morley’s pictures derive from childhood memories or picture manufactured disaster scenarios.

Morley is distinguished by his ongoing ability to reinvent himself. Jean-Claude Lebensztejn demonstrates how Morley’s work is imbued with meaning through process. Lebensztejn’s unparalleled access to the artist and to his personal archive provides the foundation for this portrait of one of the few painters of the last four decades to have risked change on such a grand scale and achieved international success.

Distribution by the University of Chicago Press only to customers in the USA and Canada. Customers elsewhere should visit the UK website of Reaktion Books.

256 pages | 8.25 x 11


Art: Art--Biography, Art--General Studies

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Table of Contents

1. Memory
2. Youth
3. Fidelity Paintings
—Ocean Liners and Cabins
—Bad Year
—Formalist Paradox
—Aesthetics of Collage
—Invisible Art
—Second Degree
4. Catastrophes
—Rupture - Continuity
—Tiny Bits of Painting
Los Angeles Yellow Pages
School of Athens
—Transition to Oil
New York City Postcard Foldout
—Social Sculpture
—Remembrance of Things Past
—Spatial Grids
—Enters History
—Collisions of Vision and Thought
—Visual Logic
5. Tropics
Out Dark Spot
The Lonely Ranger Lost in the Jungle of Erotic Desires
—Sensation without Memory?
—Cradle of Civilization
—Again Kachinas, and Again
—’Intensely Bad, Failed Nightmares’
—’You’ll sing it till you learn it!’
6. Open Sea
—Aquatic Demon
—Simply a Flat Plane in Space
—Yellow Paintings
—Springboks and Paragliders
7. Painter’s Floor
Artist’s Chronology
List of Illustrations
Photographic Acknowledgements

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