Morley. Retrospective at MoCA.

Museum of Contemporary Art. North Miami. From Jan 21st through Apr 16th, 2006(…)The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami will present a retrospective of the work of painter Malcolm Morley. Featuring over 30 works from the 1960s to the present, Malcolm Morley: The Art of Painting is Morley’s first museum survey in the United States since 1984. The exhibition focuses on Morley’s connection with the art of the past and his concentration on the art of painting. The title of the exhibition is derived from the title of one of his recent works. Born in London in 1931, and a resident of the United States since 1958, Morley paints in a manner that defies easy categorization. Although often described as a photorealist, as photographic sources provide him with much of the subject matter for his work, Morley defines his purpose as a preoccupation with the act of painting and the sensation of transforming closely observed images to canvas. Morley achieved wide spread recognition in the 1960s for his photo-based painting. He developed the technique of placing a grid over the original image, then reproducing it one small square at a time, turning the canvas upside down and sideways so that the abstract shape and color tonality of each part is addressed. Many of Morley’s paintings of the 1990s were based on tableaux he created with model planes, boats, and lighthouses. These recalled the childhood pleasure of building model boats and planes and the trauma he experienced at age 13 during the London Blitz of World War II when one of his treasured toy boats was destroyed along with part of the family’s home. Recently, Morley made a return to his superrealist paintings of athletes and racecar crashes. The Death of Dale Earnhardt, 2003, based on an Associated Press color photograph, portrays the crash that claimed the life of a modern-day popular figure. Morley’s orderly focused technique yields a dynamic image of contact and speed from the worlds of sports and chaos, which is broken down into mosaics of small beautifully abstract color and form. Bonnie Clearwater notes, “Morley did not paint his recent sports paintings out of the love of these games. The specific subject was incidental to him. Rather, he was seeking to create a contemporary American mythology using modern sports heroes.” For more information, please call: 305.893.6211

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