Letters profiles Canadian artist Michael Morris during the period between 1964 and 1971 with a particular focus on his relationship with concrete poetry, considered to be among the first global art movements, springing up in South and North America, Japan and Europe.
Artist, educator, and curator Michael Morris has been a key figure in the West Coast art scene for more than four decades. His interest in concrete poems underlies his desire to develop the relationship between one medium and another — this was a period in which his work shifted from primarily painting to photography, sculpture, performance, and video.
Letters, a series of six painted triptychs executed in the late 1960s that form the basis of this book, embody this interdisciplinary thinking. Incorporating vertical mirrors, they were imagined not only as objects in themselves, expressing the pivotal role light plays in painting, but also as ‘props’, before which a dance performance might take place.
The book features essays on Morris’ ambitious paintings of this period alongside texts on international and Canadian concrete poetry as represented by the work of Ugo Carrega, Henri Chopin, Lily Greenham, Jirí Kolár, Ferdinand Kriwet, Arrigo Lora-Totino, Steve McCaffery and Gerhard Rühm.