Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Morris Cox - Printmaker

It is surprising how we find new and interesting artist. I discovered Morris Cox when after finding an example of a woodblock print by an artist I consciously seek to buy in an online auction catalogue I as usual paged through the rest of the sale and the only other lot that was to my taste was a woodblock print of a cat and others. So there they were Morris Cox signed prints - but who was he.

 Morris Cox (1903-98) was a writer, artist, printmaker. He had won a place at West Ham School of Art in 1916 when he was just 13. In the late 1920s he worked in advertising. Disliking the job, he turned to printmaking, painting, designing book jackets, writing novels & poetry and briefly running a shop in Sicilian Arcade selling only his own work. 

During the Second World War he was team leader in the Civil Defence Light Rescue Service throughout the Blitz.
He established the Gogmagog Press in 1957, "essentially an ultra-simple, one-man affair", resolving to print his own work in his own way thereafter. 35 highly original beautifully illustrated, hand-made limited edition books followed between 1957 and 1983.

In 1991 a bibliography and appreciation was published: 'Morris Cox and the Gogmagog Press,' Private Libraries Association. Cox also produced colour linocuts from 1930, and painted in oil and watercolour for over 60 years.

In 1994 the Victoria & Albert Museum held an exhibition to celebrate their acquisition of Cox's personal archive of Gogmagog books and early colour prints. Katharine House Gallery held a substantial and successful exhibition of Cox's paintings, prints and books in 2005.
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