Keizersgracht 82, 1015 CT, Amsterdam
Ciaran Murphy (1978, Ireland) will present new paintings for his second solo show at the gallery. His work takes the form of enigmatic large and small-scaled works in oils on paper or canvas. Although simple at first glance, these paintings can be complex and contradictory. The subject deals predominantly with ideas of the ‘natural world’, how humans observe and categorize nature in an attempt to understand it as well as the dialectic tension between ideas of nature and technology.
Taking their starting point from photographs which he assiduously collects there is throughout an abiding interest in the blank unknowables that are mixed up with visual perception, how we perceive the world through the human eye as well as the problem of how to re-present it. The range and variety in description of subject matter seems to point to different types of seeing; everything from the casual glance, the empathetic look to the detached gaze. The simple one-word titles of Murphy’s work, although true to their subject matter, mask the complexity and particularity of what is actually depicted.
Murphy considers painting a resource for visualization in its own right, as distinct from industrial imaging. Interestingly much of his imagery has its original source in the floating world of electronic media. Murphy’s paintings play with the problems that the competing realities of different mediums pose; should the things we see on screens actually to be considered real life-representations, or are they their own particular version of reality? Is the idea of an unmediated reality an untenable idea in the first place?
Since the first solo presentation of Murphy’s paintings in Dublin, 2005, Murphy’s work has achieved considerable international critical success, with solo exhibitions in Amsterdam, London, Chicago and Philadelphia. He has recently had a solo show of both old and new work in the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, one of the most prominent public exhibition spaces in Ireland, showing high profile international contemporary art.