Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mali Morris

Bird Ghost - 2007
122 cm x 153 cm
acrylic on canvas
Image: courtesy of artist

Buried Scarlet - 2009
26 cm x 31 cm
acrylic on canvas
Image: courtesy of artist

It's official. It seems I have been living under a rock - otherwise, how else is it possible for me to have missed the wonderful, luminous works of the London painter Mali Morris. Really, these are so breath taking. Look at them; simple, clean colours that sing, generous brush work, fresh surfaces that are deep enough to dive into, yet never overworked - these are the works of a longstanding gifted and intelligent painter; they provoke a conversation between the viewer and the paint.
Predominately working small with acrylic on canvas, Mali Morris' process might resemble that of an excavator - starting with the application of rectangles of colours, overlaying these with lush broad strokes of colour glazes and then wiping away parts to reveal what lies beneath. With her process Mali Morris seeks to find rather than add colour. It's a delight to see a painter who can balance bright geometric forms with gestural abstraction and be able to pull the two formal elements together with such ease. I'm so enthralled that I've immediately ordered the latest issue of Turps Banana which features an essay about Mali's work by Peter Suchin. (There's also an interview with Thomas Nozkowski!)

Mali Morris is a painter who makes you think about paint, and whose paint asks you to think about light. She is not concerned with making paintings represent recognisable objects, but the world, through light effects, is in her paintings... Her paintings are alive not just to a history of abstraction, but in a dialogue with her own method of experimentation. The issues seem to be light and rhythm, and what painting is - From the catalogue essay ‘Strange Links: Giude to Morris'2008, by Matthew Collings, artist, writer, critic & broadcaster; author of This is Civilisation 2008 Read more here
I could not have put it better myself.


notamax said...

fully agree with you

TAB said...

We are living on a rock and it is way at the end of the contemporary painting world. Thanks Undercover, I hadn't heard of her either.

undercover painter said...

Fully agree with you both! Good call TAB.

Sophie Munns said...

'Buried Scarlet' leaves me spellbound UP.
And so does your writing about this artist actually!
I'm filled with envy which is of course the best compliment!
Now I have to go see your new work...3 days to settle after being away for a couple of weeks...just remembered you have added the new images to your website...

Anonymous said...

Hey UP,

Take a look at Turps Banana iss 5 (I think). Wonderful article on a painter called Julian Wakelin. Very reclusive and hard to track down but his paintings are aligned with Morris' in a somewhat loose way. I think you'd like them.

undercover painter said...

Will do, thanks for the heads up, mookieb.

Anonymous said...

I popped by to say thankyou for choosing to follow my blog, then discovered your amazing taste in contemorary art.

yum yum

freaking yum!

undercover painter said...

Well hi grrl + dog. Yep, I like finding people from the same neck of the woods. Knitting rocks! Glad you like my blog too.

Nomi Lubin said...

Good to see these. I think she manages something difficult and unlikely in these. Exciting. Thank you.

Andy Parkinson said...

She is the "Bees Knees" as far as I am concerned. There was a wonderful show of her work in Nottingham a few years ago that I visited many times. The Turps Banana article by Peter Suchin was interesting.

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