Malcolm Morley in the workshop at Tyler Graphics Ltd., Mount Kisco, New York, 1998
Gift of Kenneth Tyler 2002
Photographer: Marabeth COHEN-TYLER

Malcolm Morley was born in Highgate, London, in 1931. He studied at both the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts and the Royal College of Art in London before migrating to New York in 1958. Here he met Barnett Newman and was influenced by his work and the work of other Abstract Expressionists. In 1965 he shifted his focus from Abstraction to Realism, and coined the term ‘Superrealist’ to describe his work. This new direction involved the transfer of images from a variety of sources (including travel brochures) to canvas via a grid system.

It differed from the ‘Photorealist’ artists who would often use a projector to transfer their images. Morley’s later works, including the prints that he completed at Tyler Graphics, blend his figurative Superrealist work with his gestural abstractions. In 1982 he completed several lithographic print editions featuring pastoral scenes of farm animals. In 1998 he returned to Tyler Graphics and produced three bright lithographic prints of boats and beaches.
Emilie Owens

Further reading


Born in Highgate, London, England

Attends Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, London

Attends Royal College of Art, London; teachers include painters John Minton and Carol Weight

Included in exhibition, The young British contemporaries, at RBA Galleries, London

Receives British Arts Council Travelling Exhibition Prize; included in exhibition, The young British contemporaries, at RBA galleries, London

Graduates from Royal College of Art, London; included in exhibition, The young British contemporaries, at RBA galleries, London

Moves to New York, New York, United States

First solo exhibition, at Kornblee Gallery, New York

Teaches at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Included in exhibition, The photographic image, at Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York

Teaches at School of Visual Arts, New York; included in Biennial of Säo-Paulo, Brazil

Included in exhibition, 22 realists, at Whitney Museum for American Art, New York

Included in exhibition, Radical realism, at Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois

Included in exhibition, Documenta 5, Kassel, West Germany; begins teaching at University of New York, Stony Brook, New York

Included in exhibition, British painting: 1952–1977, at Royal Academy of Arts, London; receives grant from German Academic Exchange Program; moves to Tampa, Florida; included in exhibition, Illusion and reality, at Australian National Gallery (now National Gallery of Australia), which travels to West Australian Art Gallery, Perth; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; Art Gallery of South Australia; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Tasmanian Museum and Gallery, Hobart

Solo exhibition, Malcolm Morley: paintings, at Akron Art Museum, Akron, Ohio

Completes editions of Beach scene, Parrots, Devonshire bullocks, Devonshire cows, Fish, Goat, Horses and Goats in a shed at Tyler Graphics Ltd, Bedford Village, New York; included in exhibition, Thirty painters: given and promised, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Travelling retrospective exhibition, Malcolm Morley: paintings 1965–1982, originating at Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; included in exhibition, New Art, at Tate Gallery, London

Receives inaugural Turner Prize, Tate Gallery, London; included in exhibitions: Prints from Tyler Graphics, at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; An international survey of painting and sculpture, at Museum of Modern Art, New York

Moves to Long Island, New York; included in exhibitions: Carnegie International, at Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; travelling exhibition, Pop art 1955–70, originating at Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney and travelling to Australian National Gallery, Canberra, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Included in Origins, originality and beyond, Biennale of Sydney, Australia

Included in exhibition, Constructing a history, at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California

Becomes citizen of the United States; solo exhibition at Anthony d. Offay Gallery, London

Travelling exhibition, Malcolm Morley: watercolours, originating at Tate Gallery, Liverpool, England

Travelling retrospective exhibition organised by Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

Travelling solo exhibition, Malcolm Morley: 1965–95, originatingat Fundación La Caixa, Madrid, Spain

Included in exhibitions: Beyond print: masterworks from the Ken Tyler Collection, at Dr Earl Lu Gallery, LaSalle-SIA, Singapore; Landscape in prints, at Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Completes editions of Flying cloud with Montgolfière balloon, Pamela running before the wind with a Dutch lighthouse and Beach scene with parasailor at Tyler Graphics Ltd, Mount Kisco, New York; included in exhibitions: Ken Tyler: printmaker emeritus, Southern Graphics Council Conference, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio; included in exhibition celebrating the 200th anniversary of the invention of lithography, Pushing boundaries: lithographs from 9 American fine art presses, at College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning Galleries, University of Cincinnati, Ohio

Retrospective exhibition, Malcolm Morley in full colour, at Hayward Gallery, London

Solo exhibition, Malcolm Morley: the art of painting, Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, Florida

Included in travelling exhibitions: Turner Prize: a retrospective, originating at Tate Britain, London, England; The painting of modern life, originating at Hayward Gallery, London, England

Included in exhibitions: Bad painting-good art, at Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna, Austria; Oranges and sardines: conversations on Abstract painting, at Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Shock of the real: Photorealism revisited, at Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida

Included in exhibition, Picturing America: Photorealism in the 70s, at Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, Germany; solo exhibition, Malcolm Morley, at Sperone Westwater, New York

Solo exhibition, Malcolm Morley: seven paintings, at Xavier Hufkens, Brussels, Belgium

Solo exhibition, Malcolm Morley: rules of engagement, at Sperone Westwater, New York; included in exhibition, National Academicians: then and now, at National Academy Museum and School, New York

Solo exhibitions: Malcolm Morley in a nutshell: the fine art of painting 1954-2012, at Yale School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut; Malcolm Morley: painting, paper, process, at Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York; Malcolm Morley: another way to make an image, monotypes, at Sue Scott Gallery, New York

Solo exhibition, Malcolm Morley at the Ashmolean: paintings and drawings from the Hall collection, at Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford, Oxford, England

Malcolm Morley currently lives and works in Brookhaven, New York.

Barbara Delano © Tyler Graphics Ltd; revised Kate Buckingham, 2006; revised Julia Greenstreet, 2013

This chronology provides an overview of selected biographical information, major solo and group exhibitions held within the artist's own lifetime.

Further information will be added to this site as the National Gallery proceeds with its research and documentation.

Last updated January 2017