PRINT Summer 1980

Malcolm Morley: Talking About Seeing


IF THERE IS A METAPHYSIC behind Malcolm Morley’s painting technique, it is eroticism—the eroticism of seeing. Although still best known for the cool precision of his travel-poster- and photograph-derived paintings done between 1965 and 1969, his most recent work displays an unabashed painterliness and directness that express a wish, like Monet’s, to have been born blind and then suddenly to receive sight. Hiking through art history and autobiography, stopping wherever he is surprised—Van Gogh, Delacroix, a dream about his analyst, the Tampa, Florida, Zoo—Morley is relentless in his quest for visual diversity and plasticity. Densely painted surfaces steam with a variety of strokes and marks that express the temperament of a born-again painter. Instead of photographs, the models for the paintings are now drawings done directly from nature, or tableaux set up with toy soldiers, model

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 1980 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.