Washington, DC

Malcolm Morley

Baumgartner Galleries

The five paintings and three watercolors in this exhibition showed that Malcolm Morley has come a long way from his “Hyper-Real” paintings of the ’70s. Those works, for which he is justly famous, uncannily foreshadowed the postmodern problematization of painting. In 1970’s Race Track, for instance, Morley meticulously rendered a picture postcard of the horse oval in Durban, South Africa. When he canceled the image by painting a large red X through it, he both turned the work into a political statement and reversed the artist’s traditional role from creating images of reality to critiquing those images. Perhaps because he was too deeply imbued with the love of painting pictures, however, Morley avoided the endgame in which these concerns led many an artist to disregard painting as a viable endeavor. Instead, as the works on view demonstrate, Morley has continued to make painting and “realism”

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