Lennon, Weinberg, Inc.
Lennon, Weinberg is pleased that our sixth exhibition of Catherine Murphy’s new work inaugurates our new location in Chelsea, at 514 West 25th Street. The gallery has presented five exhibitions of her work since opening seventeen years ago in Soho, the most recent in 2001.
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This exhibition will present eight oil paintings and five graphite drawings; thirteen works in all. Each is conceived and carried out with rigor and skill. Formal organization and narrative content are strongly linked, and apparently disparate works relate to each other in unexpected ways. To identify the subjects of the paintings and drawings literally would be to miss the point. To look hard at them, seeking the content beneath their surfaces would be more like it.
Murphy has often cited minimalism as an influence. Squares and circles, grids, lines and planes structure the works. A grid appears as a gingham kerchief, as a lawn chair and the top of a cardboard box. Line is a jet trail in the sky and roughly drawn shapes outlining a face in a mirror. Paintings of a perfect hole in the snow and a man’s breast seen through a torn t-shirt work with circles. Pictures of a magazine spread and a lampshade reflected on a shiny wall are both understood as surfaces, as planes in relation to space.
One of two self-portraits in the show, Slipped Self, dances with geometry. Square slides into square and creates both diamond and rectangle. But there is more to it than its formal values, there are meditative depths as well. It telescopes youth and maturity, just as the diptych Tracks compresses near and far, fast and slow, then and now into the same picture, the same place.
The Museum of Modern Art, the Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, the Greenville County Museum of Art and private collectors have generously loaned works to the exhibition. Catherine Murphy is a Senior Critic in the graduate painting program at Yale University and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her most recent solo exhibition was at the Daniel Weinberg Gallery in Los Angeles in 2002.