Copyright Courtesy of Desmond Morris, 2018

In Storage

Desmond Morris (b.1928)

The Hermit Discovered

Morris is best known as a writer and broadcaster who specialised in human and animal behaviour and wrote The Naked Ape. His other passion was art and he developed a successful parallel career as a Surrealist painter. These interests overlapped and Morris said that in his paintings he 'tried to create a private world in which my own invented organisms evolved and developed'.

This early work was painted in the year Morris joined Conroy Maddox's Birmingham Surrealist group while he was a student at the city's university. It combines Surrealism with abstraction and perhaps shows the young artist exploring means to combine his twin interests. Figures in his work would evolve into brightly coloured, rounded creatures that Morris called biomorphs.

Medium oil on canvas
Date 1948
Dimensions 408mm x 560mm x 30mm
Acquisition Number SOTAG : 2002/4
Credit Line Purchased in 2002 by the National Society of Decorative Arts