Simon Morley
The English Series
16th October – 16th November, 2007


Art First is pleased to present Simon Morley's first exhibition at the gallery.

"Simon Morley's work deals in abstractions. Seen from a distance, his paintings evoke the modernist tradition of the monochrome, with their suggestions of primordiality and immanence. Closer up, another level of abstraction is revealed, in the sense of his use of words - the book titles or pages of text he incorporates - and the entry into the symbolic realm of language. And it's the feeling of being caught between these two kinds of abstraction that gives the works their peculiar tension, their powerful sense of crisis and suspension.

There's also another meaning of abstraction to consider: that of ideas, products of the imagination. In The English Series, Morley invokes a nexus of ideas to do with history, nationhood, and communal identity. And it's crucial to realise, too, that Englishness, and England itself, are also just ideas."

Gabriel Coxhead from the essay Little Englands in the catalogue which accompanies the exhibition.