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Lynda Morris: Dear Lynda...
21 September – 16 November 2013
Preview Friday 20 September, 6–8pm
Second Gallery

‘Dear Lynda...’ uncovers Lynda Morris’ ongoing contributions to contemporary art since the 1960s as curator, writer, art historian, and patron. The exhibition in Eastside Projects Second Gallery presents her encounters and close collaborations with a remarkable group of artists of our time through artworks, publications, posters, invitation cards, and correspondence taken from her personal archive and collection. The roster of collaborators and accomplices includes Gilbert & George, Konrad Fischer, Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Richard Hamilton, John Baldessari, Art & Language, Marcel Broodthaers, Andre Cadere, David Lamelas, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Jeff Wall, Gustav Metzger, Jeremy Deller, and Lucy McKenzie. This body of material reflects the social, political, and cultural context of Morris’ activities concerned with issues of perception, conceptual art, and resistance in art and politics.

Born in 1947 in Gourock, Renfrewshire, Scotland Lynda studied at Canterbury College of Art, from 1969 to 1972, and concurrently worked at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London on exhibitions including ‘When Attitudes Become Form’ (1969) and ‘Edward Kienholz: 11 Tableaux’ (1971). She then worked for Nigel Greenwood Gallery in London organising the first exhibition that presented exclusively artists' books and compiling, together with Germano Celant, the catalogue ‘Book as Artwork 1960/1972’. This catalogue was devoted to the medium of the artist’s book and it still remains a canonical reference (republished in 2010). Also, in the early 1970s she was Richard Hamilton’s assistant for his retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum, New York and she organised the first exhibition of Minimal Art in the UK, ‘STRATA’ at the Royal College of Art in London.

Lynda Morris is known as a pioneering curator who gave many, now well-recognised, artists their first UK exhibitions, including Agnes Martin (1974), Bernd and Hilla Becher (1974–75), and Gerhard Richter (1977). Further, from 1991 to 2009 she established and curated ‘EASTinternational’, an open submission exhibition in Norwich, with a series of invited selectors each year, including Konrad Fischer, Marian Goodman, and Rudi Fuchs. ‘EASTinternational’ expanded the boundaries of a London-centred UK art scene and turned Norwich into a recognised international hub for contemporary art. From 1980 to 2009 Morris was curator of the Norwich Gallery at Norwich University of the Arts, where she is the current Professor of Curation and Art History.

Her recent projects are the exhibitions ‘Picasso: Peace and Freedom’ (Tate Liverpool, 2010, Albertina, Vienna, (2011); Louisiana, Humlebæk, (2011)); and ‘Documenting Cadere: 1972–1978’, (Modern Art Oxford, (2012/2013), Mu.ZEE, Oostende, (2013), Artists Space, New York, (2013)). Both exhibitions illustrate once again Morris’ interest in conceptual art and socio-political issues – in her Picasso exhibition Morris presented a new angle that looked at Picasso’s ties with communist politics and the influences they had on the subjects of his work. In a similar tone ‘Documenting Cadere’ depicts the ongoing relevance of André Cadere’s ethical position on the politics of the ownership of spaces that artists are dependent upon to show their work.

Accompanying the exhibition is a self-published magazine by Lynda Morris available from the gallery.

Dear Lynda… was originated at White Columns in New York in 2012 and has toured to Chelsea Space, London; The Gallery and Norwich University of the Arts; Cooper Gallery, Dundee; and BQ, Berlin.

Extra thanks to Clare Mullett and Research and Cultural Collections at University of Birmingham