Born Marjorie Jewell Moss, in Richmond, Surrey, the artist studied at St John's Wood School of Art and the Slade School. She first visited Cornwall in 1919, and stayed for four years in a reclusive fit of despondency (as she described it). From 1924-1926 she returned to Cornwall, having changed her name, and began to take sculpture lessons at the Penzance Art School.
In 1927 she visited Paris where she met Mondrian and was greatly influenced by his geometric style and use of primary colours. She studied there under Leger and Ozenfant, and was a founder member of Abstraction-Creation in Paris. All of her work up to 1940 was destroyed in a bombing raid in 1944, when her former home with Netty Nijhoff (Chateau d'Evreux, Gauciel) was laid waste.
In 1941 she returned to live in Penzance, remaining in Cornwall until her death. In an unusual exhibition at the Tate Gallery (St Ives) in 1995, the artist, author and art historian, Florette DIJKSTRA presented a 'catalogue of images', reconstructions on 1:10 scale, together with a set of 1:2 scale reconstructions, to 'acquire insight into the structure and development of Marlow Moss's oeuvre.' This work, initiated and carried out by Dijkstra, based on many years of research and travel, was in the author/artist's words executed with the 'ultimate goal of opening up a new place in art history for Marlow Moss's work.' W Rotzler (Zurich) has argued that Marlow Moss's work is England's most consistent contribution to Constructivist art, and Germaine Greer that Moss probably had more influence on later developments in art than Mondrian, especially in relation to English artists such as Ben NICHOLSON, Mary MARTIN and Kenneth MARTIN and Michael CANNEY.
works and access
Works include: Wit Geel Blauw en Rood; Sculptural Form (1943); Emblems of Loss and Neglect; Black White Red and Grey;
Access to works: Dijkstra book (Ills); Art and Craft magazine October/November; Inside Cornwall article on Florette Dikstra and Marlow Moss ( picture ); Independent article in Visual Arts December 1997; Hypatia Book Marlow Moss: Constructivists and the reconstruction project (1995, many images)
Hanover Gallery, London (2 Solo, 1953, 1958); Hanover Galerie, Zurich (1973); Carus Gallery, New York (1979); Tate St Ives Marlow Moss & the Reconstruction Project (1995); and many group shows.
2013 Tate St Ives Summer Exhibition: 18 May - 29 September
misc further info
Djikstra (Illus, bibliography) Patten Press 1995
Gaze (1997) Dictionary of Women Artists
Greer (1979) The Obstacle Race
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn & West Cornwall bibl
Newton et al Painting at the Edge
Visual Arts article (Independent 9 Dec 1997)
Watson 'Marlow Moss' [in] Arts Review, vol 27, no 8 1975