Malcolm Morley Exhibition

Sperone Westwater

poster for Malcolm Morley Exhibition

This event has ended.

On view will be four paintings, four works on paper, and one large-scale sculpture, all completed between 2007 and 2009. Inspired by motocross and NASCAR racing scenes, these new works demonstrate Morley’s ongoing status as a master of the painterly who continues to explore a relationship between the mediums of painting, watercolor and sculpture.

In the new paintings Texas Swing (2009), Hubris (2008), Thor (2008), and Blue Boyz (2008), Morley presents the figure of an athlete as a mythic hero, creating a kind of contemporary American mythology in paint. Describing the evolution of this series, Morley writes:

While waiting for a train in Pennsylvania Station, I came across a motocross magazine with a cover featuring a young motocross rider and a colorful bike in midair doing an impossible maneuver in a blue sky. […] For me that is the modern myth. A myth has to have a hero. A hero has to face danger and death, have flaws and an Achilles’ heel.

Watercolor painting has also long held an important role for the artist. He has employed the medium in a variety of ways including directly as a source for his ambitious large-format oil paintings. In these new works on paper, Morley uses found motocross and NASCAR imagery, but now alters these photos with rips and folds. The resulting assemblage becomes a source for Morley’s abstract compositions, manifested in three different forms – in collage, watercolor, and in paint. In this show Morley’s mythic racing heroes are also materialized as three-dimensional sculptures made of paper and linen attachments. At the artist’s request, the materials that make up the large-scale sculpture Ring of Fire (2009) shall remain classified.

[Image: Malcolm Morley "Hubris" (2008) oil on linen, 105 X 78 in.]



from April 16, 2009 to June 20, 2009


Malcolm Morley

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