MORRIS, Michael




Author Tags: Art

Born in 1942 in Saltdean, UK, artist and curator Michael Morris assembled a collection of approximately 1,200 Polaroid images taken by artist Attila Richard Lukacs, which served as a reference point for his paintings, in Polaroids: Attila Richard Lukacs and Michael Morris (Arsenal, 2009).

Michael Morris' illustrated Letters: Michael Morris and Concrete Poetry (Kardosh/Black Dog 2015) takes its name from an 2012 exhibition at the Belkin Art Gallery that featured his large-scale paintings with inset mirrors that Morris made in 1969 in the context of contemporaneous examples of Concrete Poetry (a form of literary expression popular at time). The retrospective new book includes essays by Jamie Hilder, David MacWilliam, Michael Turner, Scott Watson and William Wood. It also affords a chronology of Morris’s creations.

Morris has been influential on the West Coast art scene since the 1960s. According to promotional materials, "he was central to the “scene with no scene” that emerged in the late 1960s and was a leader in the turn to the conceptual in the early 1970s." Equally significant, he co-founded Image Bank in 1969 and the Western Front in 1973.

In 1981, Morris and Vincent Trasov accepted a residency in Berlin as guests of the D.A.A.D. Visiting Artist program. He stayed for 13 years, joining the ex-pat art community in what was West Berlin, returning to Victoria in 1994.

Michael Morris is the recipient of the 2015 Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement and the 2011 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in recognition of his achievement and outstanding contribution to contemporary art in Canada. Morris has lived in both Vancouver and Victoria.

BOOKS:

Polaroids: Attila Richard Lukacs and Michael Morris (Arsenal, 2009).

Letters: Michael Morris and Concrete Poetry (Kardosh Products / UK: Black Dog Publishing 2015) Edited by Scott Watson and Jana Tyner 192 pages, hc $40 171 b/w and colour images 978-1-910433-00-3

[BCBW 2015]