abstract art, a systems view

More on Mali Morris at Angel Row in 2004

with one comment

In a blog I guess that keeping the word count low is generally a good thing. So I keep coming back to  subjects that have written about before. Today I want to say more about the Mali Morris exhibition at Angel Row Gallery  that I saw way back in 2004.

I have said before that in the UK  it is difficult to find places exhibiting abstract painting outside of London, and even back in 2004 I knew for sure that getting a show of this kind of work in Nottingham city centre was unusual, so I went to see it many times. (Since then I can count on one hand how many shows of abstraction there have been here. We haven’t had any yet at Nottingham Contemporary.)

Morris works in series. There is a sense in which her work employs repetition, yet somehow not strictly so. I feel that my often used (no doubt over-used) quote from Gregory Bateson applies where, referring to the ‘pattern which connects’, he said it is made up of “a million lines never precisely repeating”. In these two paintings we get repetition, but never precisely so.

These two were there:

Mali Morris, Low Pink Hum, 1998, Acrylic on Canvas, 57 x 66 cm. Image by courtesy of the artist

Mali Morris, Marvell's Mower 1999, Acrylic on Canvas, 46 x 61 cm. Image by courtesy of the artist.

Although in one sense very similar, look how different they are. They look like they were made using the same process. Yet the differences in colour mean that they are experienced very differently. They can easily be seen independently and each one ‘stands up on its own’. Here they were displayed together and I enjoyed enjoying them separately and then comparing how my experiences of them were different.

I remember also that all 19 paintings were presented in what seemed to me to be a quite unusual manner, they were scattered as opposed to being arranged in neat rows.  Some of the small ones were quite low I think. I would love to see an installation shot.


Written by Andy Parkinson

August 1, 2011 at 7:27 am

One Response

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  1. I’m really enjoying these posts about Mal Morris, very interesting work. Thanks Andy.


    August 1, 2011 at 11:56 am

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