Michael Morris


Michael Morris (Canadian 1942 - )

Michael Morris, RCA
Untitled, 1995
watercolour on paper
5” x 7”
Value: $750
Donated by Melanie Mehrer

Since the early 1960s to the present Michael Morris has played a critical role in bringing international art ideas and influences to British Columbia.  After his birth in Saltdean, England in 1942, Morris immigrated to Canada where he settled on Vancouver Island.   After graduating from the Vancouver School of Art he went on to do post graduate studies at the Slade School, London University.

During the mid to late 1960s, Morris’s painting forged new ground in the field of Pop and Op art.  During the course of that decade he 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 the Mail art archive Image Bank in 1970.  Along with the likes of New York artist Ray Johnson and Toronto-based collective General Idea, Morris and Trasov fused a Pop sensibility with the legacies of Mail, Performance and Conceptual art.

He co-founded the Western Front in 1973, and co-organized art projects there throughout the 1970s.  Morris spent the 1980s producing work in Berlin, and returned to Canada in the 1990s.  In 1993 he and Trasov established the Morris / Trasov Archive, housed at the Belkin Gallery, Fine  Arts Department, U.B.C.  His work is in several major museum collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Vancouver Art Gallery, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, The Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Ludwig Museum, Cologne.

He was awarded an honorary Doctorship from Emily Carr University in 2004 and in 2011 was awarded the Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts. Michael Morris lives and works in both Vancouver and Victoria.