Paul Morrison

8 July 2015
Paul Morrison Asplenium (2010) Acrylic paint, 24 carat gold leaf.  Courtesy the artist and South London Gallery

South London Gallery

Paul Morrison (b.1966, Liverpool, UK) lives and works in Sheffield and London.

His work has been shown in museums and art spaces around the world, including the ICA London; The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; MUHKA, Antwerp; the Wüttembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart; Kunsthalle Nürnberg; and The Drawing Center in New York. His work is represented
in a number of collections such as the British Council Collection, London; The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; The Government Art Collection, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Recent solo exhibitions include Auctorum, Millennium Gallery, Sheffield (2012); Black Light, Dirimart, Istanbul, Turkey (2013); and Eclipse, PS, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2014).

Paul Morrison’s large-scale work is characterised by monochromatic botanical visions. These boldly rendered gardens and landscapes appear magnified, distorted and cartoon-like and are expressed using a variety of techniques, including painting, drawing, print, sculpture and film. Morrison consciously experiments with scale, taking inspiration from historical engravings, botanical illustrations, comics, animations and found images.

In the South London Gallery’s Matsudaira  Wing, Paul Morrison’s wall painting Asplenium, initially commissioned for the SLG’s re-opening exhibition Nothing is Forever (2010), establishes an immediate and uplifting dialogue with the architecture of the atrium. Drawing on his extensive archive of botanical drawings, Morrison has rendered an extraordinary combination of outsized and miniature plant life, sun and moon motifs, against a shimmering gold leaf background. Celebrating the relationship between interior and exterior views, which characterises the space, this stunning work enriches the already impressive effect of the changing light throughout the day. The Contemporary Art Society’s acquisition of Asplenium makes this wall painting a permanent addition to the SLG’s collection to be enjoyed by gallery visitors now and in the future.

Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 2015

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