This is the first comprehensive book on the work of the controversial artist Malcolm Morley. It covers his entire career to date, from his beginnings in England, through his receipt of the Turner Prize in 1984, to his 1999 statement that he was going to repaint all his pictures.
Born and trained in Britain but resident in America since 1958, Morley is best known as an exponent of Superrealism, his explorations of which were inspired by printed media. Superrealism represents only one aspect of Morley's career, however. As his technique became increasingly free in the 1970s, he began to introduce so-called ‘found’ objects into his work. In the 1980s, he increasingly used watercolours made while travelling as the basis for oil paintings. Besides travel, many of Morley’s pictures derive from childhood memories or picture manufactured disaster scenarios. Morley is distinguished by his ongoing ability to reinvent himself.
Jean-Claude Lebensztejn demonstrates how Morley’s work is imbued with meaning through process. Lebensztejn's unparalleled access to the artist and to his personal archive provides the foundation for this portrait of one of the few painters of the last four decades to have risked change on such a grand scale and achieved international success.
Jean-Claude Lebensztejn is Professor of Art History at the University of Paris and has written essays, articles and books on art, poetry, linguistics and cinema.