Monday, May 07, 2012

Follow The Winter

May 31 – June 7th, 2012

Opening May 31st 6pm-8pm. Artist in Attendance.
Skew Gallery - 1615 10th Avenue SW, Calgary AB, Canada

Feeling the historical weight of Berlin and the sense of loss it has engendered, his work in Follow the Winter has taken a heavier turn. In this new body of work, Murray continues his exploration of collage construction and the reactionary relationships that supervene the acts of painting and their documentation, and introduces the figure into his practice for the first time. Through old photographs sourced from East Berlin flea markets images of schoolboys and women in Russian folk dress are incorporated into his paintings, additionally complicating the intricate composition built from layers of paint, collage and weaving .
Murray’s life in Berlin has provided the stimulus to explore mediums that until now have only been nodded to in his painting practice. A stimulus that is a resonant contradiction where emotion, place and history intermingle

“Every day on the way to my Berlin studio, I pass a miserable old jail that has the kind of history that makes one feel queasy. A sign hangs out front that reads “Live In A Monument”. They are renovating the jail into condos. The sign is meant for me and the rest of the city’s ex-pats and transplants. The thought of living in this monument would sicken anyone who had lived with the threat of being forced to.
I moved to this city to be with Julia. She was born in East Berlin. To care for her I pay very close attention to what my hands are doing. What marks they leave, what they pick up, how well they can make someone understand something. This means my actions in the studio feel even more harrowing. Or maybe they are now balanced by an equal weight held in something that cannot be inventoried between its walls and my skin.
To love is to feel loss. To love Julia here is to encounter it at the end of every block.
On my tram ride to the studio, I ask myself: How do you maintain a ruin? How do you follow the winter?"
-Wil Murray, Spring 2012, Berlin

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