In Ciarán Murphy’s new paintings we encountered an unsettling array of things: strange landscapes, insects, birds, body parts, letters, architectural features and abstract shapes. Objects seem in varying states of flux; things float, or seem in the midst of changing form, while other things seem barely there.
The exhibition reflected the artists long standing attempt to grapple with a contemporary world that is completely saturated with images. Images that embody the paradoxical status of being both completely over-bearing, yet irresistible, both entrancing and anxiety provoking. They exert an almost ghostly weightless presence, blurring past present and future and indeed our very notions of what constitutes reality.
Ciarán Murphy's work constitutes a quiet, singular inquiry into the possibilities of untangling representation from reality or if such an untangling is even possible, grappling with the conundrums that are inherent to representation, that strange realm we might call subjectivity proper, that zone that is outside or in excess of symbolic limits, an effort to find some coordinates, in a world increasingly lacking in them.
A survey of recent paintings was curated by Patrick T Murphy, Director, Royal Hibernian Academy. The exhibition will travel to the Model Arts Centre Sligo January 23rd to March 6th, 2022 and will conclude at the RHA from September 9th to Oct 23rd, 2022.
About the Artist
Ciarán Murphy (b. 1978 in Mayo, lives and works in Callan, Co Kilkenny) received his BA at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin in 2003 and his MA in Visual Arts Practices (MAVIS), IADT, Dublin in 2005. Solo exhibitions include: there, there now, GRIMM, Amsterdam (NL); Hundreds of Nature, GRIMM, New York, NY (US); Plainsight, GRIMM, Amsterdam (NL); A Round Now, Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York, NY (US); The Paradise, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (IE); All That’s Air Melts Into Solid, GRIMM, Amsterdam (NL); Ciarán Murphy, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (IE); March, mother’s tankstation, Dublin (IE); Ciarán Murphy at Cerealart, Philadelphia, PA (US); and Ciarán Murphy, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, IL (US). His work is in the collections of the Arts Council of Ireland, Dublin (IE); the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), Dublin (IE); and the Sanders Collection, Haarlem (NL), among others. Ciarán Murphy is represented by Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam. www.grimmgallery.com.
James Merrigan: ART&TEXT Dec 18, 2021