Malcolm Morley, 1931–2018

Malcolm Morley with his 1984 Turner Prize installation  © Tate photography

The British-American painter Malcolm Morley, winner of the inaugural Turner Prize in 1984, has passed away at the age of 86. 

Born in 1931 in London, where he attended Camberwell School of Art (as part of his parole after having served a prison sentence for petty theft) and subsequently the Royal College of Art, Morley moved to New York in 1958. His encounters with Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art led him to develop his own style of photorealist painting (he preferred the term 'super realist). In 1984 he was the first winner of the Turner Prize, coming out at the head of a shortlist also composed of Richard Deacon, Gilbert & George and Richard Long. 

In a joint statement, his galleries - Xavier Hufkens, Brussels and Sperone Westwater, New York - announced the death of an artist who 'defied stylistic characterisation, moving through so-called abstract, hyperrealist, neo-romantic, and neo-expressionist painterly modes, while being attentive to his own biographical experiences.' Morley exhibited internationally throughout his career, notably at Documenta 5 and 6, and as part of the Royal Academy’s A New Spirit in Painting (1981). In 2001 he was the subject of a retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, London. 

4 June