Desmond Morris

About this exhibition

Desmond Morris became interested in surrealism when he was at boarding school during World War II and he made his first surrealist drawings in 1944. Morris was dubbed by the art critic Mark Hudson as the Last living Surrealist, in his recent article for The Daily Telegraph (5 May, 2018).

With a degree in zoology from Birmingham University, Desmond Morris moved to Oxford University in 1951 to study for a doctorate in animal behaviour. And for the following 20 years Morris devoted himself to his zoological career and became a bestselling author and television presenter. Although he stopped exhibiting during this period, he always maintained a studio and never ceased painting.

In 1974 he began exhibiting again in London and, since then, has held 49 solo exhibitions in England, France, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and the USA, including six retrospectives. Morris’ ‘double-life’, as a zoologist by day and painter of dreamlike images by night, was explored in a documentary which aired in 2017 on BBC4.

Having recently celebrated his 91st birthday, Desmond Morris continues to produce art works and to exhibit. It is a hugely exciting honour that he is creating a series of works exclusively for an exhibition in Farleys Gallery.