new-york

Malcolm Morley

Pace Prints | East 57th Street

Malcolm Morley’s works could be regarded as a skewed contemporary development of Maurice Denis’ famous assertion that “a painting—before being a war horse, a nude woman, or some anecdote—is essentially a plane surface covered with colors assembled in a certain order.” While Morley has vehemently disavowed Greenbergian formalism, the considerable power of his work inheres in the tension between his usually mundane and even hackneyed representational imagery and a quintessential Modernist idea of the picture-plane: Cézanne’s desire for the creation of three-dimensional perceptual experience on a two-dimensional plane. Paradoxically, Morley generally works from two-dimensional models, as in his prototypical super-realist works of the ’60s in which he relies on trivial painted imagery for sources. (“Superrealism” was Morley’s term; he always disdained “Photorealism,” the movement of which he

Sign-in to keep reading

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

Not registered for artforum.com? 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 March 1989 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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