Turner Prize 1984 artists: Malcolm Morley

English painter active in the USA. He studied at the Royal College of Art, London, from 1954 to 1957. Deeply impressed by theAbstract Expressionist paintings, he settled permanently in New York in 1958. He developed an abstract idiom influenced by Barnett Newman, limiting himself primarily to horizontal bands in black and white.

Malcolm Morley with his 1984 Turner Prize installation

Malcolm Morley with his 1984 Turner Prize installation
© Tate photography

After trying in 1964 to paint a ship from real life Morley turned to photographs of ships, which he copied in a meticulous trompe l’oeil style with the aid of a grid. These marked the beginning of Photorealism in the USA, although Morley preferred the term Super Realism. Replicating the original in an almost mechanical way and conceiving of the painting simply as a coloured surface, Morley undermined the distinction between the abstract and the figurative.