Mali Morris has been exploring the possibilities of abstract painting for over 50 years. Her recent paintings create visual arenas, where colour moves through space and space moves through colour. Glowing circles call to each other across painted structures that are both fluid and geometric. Opacity and translucency are important, as are the ways the touch of a brush or other implements can open up a painting’s virtual depth. Freedom, ease, pleasure and wit co-exist with rigour and decisiveness.
Morris’ work belongs to a painterly tradition including Gillian Ayres and Helen Frankenthaler, developed from earlier modernists such as Milton Avery and Henri Matisse. Her recent paintings confidently extend this tradition in to the 21st century, while carefully deconstructing many of its underlying assumptions.
Calling features paintings by Morris from the past 25 years. They show her rethinking the role of gesture within abstract painting, with layers of colour creating luminous spaces, visually clear but full of precisely judged ambiguities.
Born in North Wales in 1945, Morris lives and works in London. Morris’ first solo exhibition was held at Ikon Gallery, John Bright Street, in 1979.
Calling is curated by independent curator and writer Sam Cornish. He is the author of Mali Morris: Painting (2019), published by the Royal Academy of Arts.
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This exhibition is on our First Floor
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