What's Happening

Michael Morris: Are Words Things?

Michael Morris. City Deluxe 4. Etching and aquatint, 2012. Image courtesy the artist.

Michael Morris. City Deluxe 5. Etching and aquatint, 2012. Image courtesy the artist.

Loft 112 | 535 8 Avenue SE, Calgary
June 27, 5:30 PM

Presented by the Illingworth Kerr Gallery.

Michael Morris is a painter, photographer, video and performance artist, and curator based in Vancouver. Morris will speak about his involvement with concrete poetry and how that led to creating the mail art archive Image Bank and other networks. This special event at Loft 112 (535 8 Avenue SE) is free and open to all, and will be followed by a reception.

Since the early 1960s Michael Morris has played a critical role in developing a reciprocal bridge for the circulation of international art ideas and interdisciplinary trends in artmaking. During the 1960s, Morris’s painting forged new ground in the fields of Pop and Op art; he also worked as a curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Centre for Communications and the Arts at Simon Fraser University. He and frequent collaborator, artist Vincent Trasov, founded Image Bank in 1970. Along with the likes of New York artist Ray Johnson, Toronto-based collective General Idea, and many of the international Fluxus artists, Morris and Trasov fused a pop sensibility with the legacies of mail, performance and conceptual art as well as concrete poetry. The legacy that Morris and Trasov established has influenced several generations of Canadian and international artists.

Morris co-founded the Western Front, Vancouver, in 1973, and co-organized art projects there throughout the 1970s. He spent the 1980s living and working in Berlin, and returned to Canada in the 1990s. In 1993 Morris and Trasov established the Morris/Trasov Archive, and eventually moved it to a permanent location at the Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia.

Morris’s work is held in major museum collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Vancouver Art Gallery, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, and the Ludwig Museum, Cologne, among others. Morris was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Emily Carr University, Vancouver in 2004. He lives and works in Vancouver and Victoria.

This event is produced with the assistance of the Alberta College of Art + Design, the Rozsa Foundation, the Illingworth Kerr Gallery, an anonymous donor, and Nuit Blanche Calgary.

Gratitude is extended to Derek Beaulieu, Chris Cran, Paula Dozois, Lisa Murphy-Lamb and Loft 112.