EPITAPH : MALCOLM MORLEY

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Welcome to Epitaph for D’s Art Takes. Here we present the creative legacies of influential people, who are no longer among us. Today we invite you to take a look at the life of the British-American artist, Malcolm Morley

Malcolm Morley was born in London, in 1931. Being a young child at the dawn of World War II was not easy. Morley’s childhood home was destroyed in a bombing. And his family became homeless for a brief while. Needless to say, this experience deeply impacted the young boy’s psyche.

Life & Career : Malcolm Morley

Morley was a delinquent. He served two years of a three year sentence at Wormwood Scrubs prison. He was there for petty theft and breaking and entering. Upon his early release, he became associated with the artists community at St. Ives. His life slowly started to turn around. Soo enough, Morley was enrolled at the Camberwell School of Arts. From there, he went on to study at the prestigious Royal College of Art in London, until 1957. At this time, London was a booming centre for the arts. Morley was inspired by an exhibition he saw at the Tate. Following this, he adopted an Abstract Expressionist style.

Traveling from one art hub to another, Malcolm Morley journeyed to New York. He met Andy Warhol, Barnett Newman, Cy Twombly and several other pioneering post-war artists. In New York, Morley was ‘spotted’ for the first time. And his first solo show was held at the Kornblee Gallery. After this, a number of reputed galleries showcased Morley’s works. These included Nancy Hoffman Gallery and the Clocktower Gallery. Additionally, Morley was exhibited at Documenta in 1972. And a retrospective of his work was held at Whitechapel, London in 1983.

Apart from creating, Morley also taught art. First at Ohio State University. Then at the School of Visual Arts in New York. And finally at Stony Brook University.

Morley’s works are placed and exhibited in important museums all over. Including Centre Georges Pompidou and Tate Liverpool. He died in 2018.


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