David Murphy

Untitled (Blanket)

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Year 2020
Medium Casein paint on paper
Dimensions 37.8 x 28 cm

About the work

A dense mesh of hand painted lines characterises Murphy's Blanket paintings. These begin to conjure three-dimensional folds, seams, and furrows, emphasising a soft, seductive and tactile quality. The paintings are built up over consecutive days of work, from as many as eighty layers of painted lines. For this body of work, the artist uses casein, a fast-drying, traditional milk-based paint, to which natural pigments can be added. It is water-soluble, light-fast and opaque, perfectly suited to Murphy's intuitive way of working.

About the artist:

Born 1983 Newcastle upon Tyne, David Murphy lives and works in London. Graduated from Glasgow School of Art (2006).

In recent years Murphy has been heavily influenced by textile-processes, an interest kindled initially by discovering a book of fibre micro-photography.  The sudden consciousness that beyond the reach of our perception textiles were complex three-dimensional structures has been highly significant for the way he thinks about surfaces and has led to a large body of work exploring the ‘topography’ of natural forms at varying levels of zoom. Since then, a textile ‘language’ has been a useful tool for him to examine the threshold between two- and three-dimensions, surface and volume within his practice more broadly.

Selected exhibitions include Common Thread, New Art Centre, Roche Court (2020); New Tints, Bartha Contemporary, London (2020); Great Small Works, Stephane Simoens Fine Art, Knokke Zoute (2020); The Blanket, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, and The Piece Hall, Halifax (2019); DRIFT, ALMA ZEVI, Venice (2019); Magnifying Cairo, British Council, Cairo (2016); Deep, Deeper, Galleria Monica de Cardenas, Milan (2016); GROUNDWORK, New Arts Centre, Roche Court (2016); and Certain Impacts, PEER, London (2014). Selected large-scale commissions include those for Oxford House, London, with Modus Operandi and Great Portland Estates (2021); St Mary’s Church, Harlow, in association with Harlow Arts Trust, Essex (2021); the National Trust (2018); The Dales Museum (2017); and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshops (2015).

Awards include being the youngest ever recipient of the Kenneth Armitage Foundation Fellowship, London (2015-2017); Yorkshire Sculpture Park residency (2014); exhibiting at the John Moores Painting Prize (2016); and exhibiting at the Jerwood Drawing Prize (2017).


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