The Road Less Travelled – exploring the paintings of Michael Morgan RI

A road or trackway is a constant, indeed almost a universal theme in the works of Michael Morgan, leading into, around and sometimes out of the composition. Both literally and figuratively, it is also a journey and hints at something beyond what is presented as the image within the frame.

The starting point for this book was a series of long-forgotten slides and photographs of early “lost” works that became the jumping-off point for a survey of the output of several decades. At the same time, it became a reflection of the paths that Michael’s life has taken, a retrospective not just of a working life, but of a method of working too.

Given that artists’ records often consist of poorly-exposed and chemically unstable transparencies – or worse, prints – it’s a relief to be able to report that the quality of reproduction is up to Halsgrove’s usual standards. There are no genuine duds here and those images which clearly won’t stand enlargement to the full page have sensibly been left smaller.

Michael Morgan is clear that he doesn’t want his books to be instructional, so there’s no technical information. However, that’s not the point: his work is always about the image and, if you really wanted to create something similar, it would probably be possible to see how the results were obtained. I suspect, however, that Michael’s work is so unique that the nearest it would be sensible to get would be to emulate his way of thinking, and you can spend the whole of this book working out what that is.

At £40, this is not cheap. Look through it though and you’ll see that it’s some of the best value around.

Click the picture to view on Amazon

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