MORRIS COX: A Note of Introduction
Bradford Haas

“...the work of Morris Cox among all print-making art
of my acquaintance comes nearest in vision and genius
to William Blake.” --Colin Franklin

“Cox is a superb writer and, at the very least, an important
poet of great originality.” --Alan Tucker

“It is all too easy to be lured into an easy, cheap kind of
civlilisation with the help of machines. That is why I find craftsmanship so
important...” --Morris Cox, from a letter to Corrie Guyt, 1973

To celebrate the centennial of the birth of the British artist Morris Cox (1903-1998), FlashPøint is proud to announce the first representative exhibition of his total achievement.

     In a career that spanned more than seven decades, Cox produced an extensive corpus of paintings, drawings, prints, private press books, poetry, prose, sculpture, and photography. While he is best known for the books issued from his own Gogmagog Press, his work outside of Gogmagog is virtually unknown. He held no exhibitions of his paintings or prints after about 1950; the sole book of his poetry published by a commercial firm (THE WHIRLIGIG, 1954) went quickly out of print. In 1991 the Private Libraries Association published GOGMAGOG: MORRIS COX AND THE GOGMAGOG PRESS, which is responsible for any recognition he has today. Around the time GOGMAGOG was published, Cox was convinced by friends to donate his personal copies of the Gogmagog Press books to the National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum - the only complete set of his books in a public collection. While the NAL did hold an exhibition of Gogmagog work soon after acquiring Cox’s collection, it seems the NAL has no plans to celebrate the centennial of the birth of this unique artist. Beyond this, nearly none of the galleries in London (Cox’s long-time home), private or public, recognize his name. Despite their often high quality, his prints are apparently unrepresented in the British Museum's Department of Prints and Drawings, and none of his paintings are included in the extensive Tate collections of 20th century British art.

     Where public institutions and galleries have failed to acknowledge Cox’s oeuvre, FlashPøint is filling the gap. The format of a webzine allows for an extensive range of color images and texts to be posted, and offers free access to this material around the globe. The hope is not to ‘convince’ viewers and readers that Cox is an unknown master, but simply, by allowing the public to view the work, facilitate the beginning of an assessment of his place in the history of 20th century art and design. Having said this, whether his work will ever be considered ‘great’ or ‘important’, there is no doubt that Morris Cox was a fine artist, one who was inventive and individual in all his varied endeavors.

     For this EXTRA! we are providing 14 digital images of visual art, 9 poems, and a ‘Virtual Facsimile’ of an early Gogmagog Press book, THE SLUMBERING VIRGIN. This is a small sampling of what is to come in the next full issue of FlashPøint (due November 1, 2003). The Exhibition in the November issue will contain:

• An introductory critical essay.
• Over 75 digital images of visual art.
• More than 80 poems and prose pieces.
• ‘Virtual Facsimiles’ of 3 complete Gogmagog Press books.
In the meantime, we hope that the current selection will whet your appetite, and entice you to view the entire exhibition when it is posted later this year. -BH/July 03

PLEASE NOTE: The copyright and right to reproduce all images and texts included in this exhibition remain with the lenders.