Malcolm Morley
Year, Birthplace 1931,
After a troubled youth, particularly during the War, and a brief sojourn in prison, Malcolm Morley studied at the Camberwell School of Arts and then at the Royal College of Art (1955–57). He then emigrated to the United States, where he became enthralled with the paintings of Barnett Newman, then by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, and converted to a ‘super realist’ style. His works were often based on photographic transfers, always done with brushes. Morley always stood apart from what he himself called the ‘mute photo-realist’. After superrealism, he categorized his paintings as ‘Fidelity paintings’, insisting on the importance of the model. For one of his works, he gave the following interpretation: ‘All I tried to do was to copy this photo.’ In 1968, he created a work based on a Vermeer poster at the Metropolitan Museum, in New York. Around 1975, Morley developed a new technique: he now executes his paintings based on completed watercolours, and refers to Greek mythology and Mediterranean scenes. In 1984 he won the first Turner Prize in London. J-FC