JENNIFER MURPHY

Bio.

I have a piece by Jennifer Murphy in my apartment. It is a mobile composed of eight elements dangling in a cluster from invisible thread, five to six feet from the floor. The largest of these is a paper cut-out in the shape of a hand. Patches of mint silk make up one side, reflective mylar the other. The rest of the dangling objects are cut-outs of eggs and a rock (all with photo on one side, reflective mylar on the other). This octet is never still; a nearby window and lamp provide constant drafts and air currents. When the sun is low in the west, the mylar surfaces smear rainbows around the room. In less dramatic light, a constant movement of shadows and reflections play on the wall.

And because everything is always moving, each individual element shifts moment-to-moment from one kind of object to a completely other kind. One moment shows a photo-representation of the natural world, the next a nearly invisible line, the next a flash of pure light. You can’t use the same eyes for each of these; your brain renames the object and your vision refocuses.

A lot of Murphy’s work is what you might call drawing in mixed media: a crow in black lace and coloured pencil; a chandelier in bookbinding tape; a skull in pressed pansy flowers. But there are also sculptures: a delicate curtain made of cut-outs of butterflies, horses, and cats; papier maché spheres with oblong openings and mysterious rainbows inside; a circle made of variously coloured ribbon pinned to the wall with photos of hands emerging; a corner installation made from the photo of a fox cut on one side to describe the close-up profile of its face and on the other to describe the distant profile of its body. In every case, modes of representation (usually photography, illustration, or published text) are put into material and representational flux. So while the images may be of bones, bugs, or amphibians and the materials might be velvet, tulle, or trash bags, the final work is more to do with complexities of presentation and perception in form and image.

In other words, Murphy takes illustrations from guides, catalogs, magazines, and other paraphernalia and removes them from their function as illustration. The images no longer subserve the staid conventions of the consumer object they were meant for – they proliferate in swarms of life-in-all-directions.

This work is often called gothic, fantastical, surreal. And yes, it is often some or all of these things. But one thing you don’t always hear it called is psychedelic – at times phenomenologically dazzling, but more important: involved in an open question about material, representation, perception, and consciousness. It is this level of subjective complexity that allows the work to radically complicate image, presentation, representation, and narrative, and yet to take pleasure in it all.
—Josh Thorpe, 2008 (revised 2010)

CV.

EDUCATION

1997    Queen’s University Bachelor of Fine Arts

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2015

New Work, Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto (upcoming)

2012

Daisies, The Philosopher’s Waltz at the Banff Centre, Banff

Monkey’s Recovery, Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto

2011

Pink Moon, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto

2010

Twenty Pearls, Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto

2008

Rose Weight and Other Works, Paul Petro, Toronto

2007

The Mirrored Heart with the Sun in its Mouth, Paul Petro, Toronto

2005

The Night has a Thousand Eyes, Solo Exhibition, Toronto

2003

Forest Floors, Greener Pastures Contemporary Art, Toronto

2001

The Great Syntax Monument, Mercer Union, Toronto (with Chris Rogers)

2000    Dirty Headlines, Studio Space, Toronto (with Chris Rogers)

1999    Exhumed and Perfumed, Studio Space, Toronto (with Chris Rogers)
Juicy, Juicy, Juice, Sis Boom Bah, Toronto

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2014

Moon Room, Narwahl Contemporary, Toronto

2013

One, and Two, and More Than Two, The Power Plant, Toronto

Pleinairism, Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff

Full Circle, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa

2012

The Willows, The Willows, New York

Freedom of Assembly, Oakville Galleries, Oakville

2011

Wild Life, StolenSpace Gallery, London, UK

Good to See You, The Drake Hotel, Toronto

Sails, Cubes and Folds, Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto

2010

The Dazzle, Narwhal Art Projects, Toronto

Hot Spot, Paul Petro, Toronto

In The Basement, Basement of Toronto Free Gallery, Toronto

2008

Amber One Foot Below, Paul Petro  Projects, Toronto

Drawings, Moti Hassan Gallery, New York

North, South, East, West, Paul Petro, Toronto

2006

Bit by Bit, The Blackwood Gallery, Mississauga

2005

Bit by Bit, The Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver

Toronto Berlin Exchange, Galerie Jette Rudolph, Berlin

If only for today, perhaps tomorrow…, State Projects, New York

2004

Collage Party, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Young Contemporaries, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa

The Cave and the Island, Galerie Kunstbuero, Vienna

The Cave and the Island, White Columns, New York

2003

Made For, Art Forum Berlin, Berlin

Group of Five, Greener Pastures Contemporary Art, Toronto

2002

The Jennifer Show, Oakville Galleries, Oakville

2001

R’N’R, The Round House, Toronto

Grand Expectorant, West Wing Art Space, Toronto

2000

Urban Disco Trailer + Everyone, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto

Pretty, Please, The Blackwood Gallery, Mississauga

Whorehouse, workplace, Toronto

ARTICLES, PUBLICATIONS AND LECTURES

2013

Interview, Millions Magazine, Issue 4, Fall
The Child Alberta, The Banff Centre, The Walter Phillips Gallery and Set Up

More Than Two (Let It Make Itself), Micah Lexier, The Power Plant

Sobey Art Award 10th Anniversary, The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and The Sobey     Foundation

Artists in Residence, Flare Magazine, June

2012

Brown, Kyla. “Jennifer Murphy.” Canadian Art Magazine (Winter): Volume29, No.4

Schechter, Fran. “Collage Persists in the Digital Age.” Now Magazine, August 23, Vol.31 No. 52
Krishtalka, Sholem. “Ruminating with Scissors.” Toronto Standard, July 16

Whyte, Murray. “Freedom of Assembly.” Toronto Star, July, 7

Schechter, Fran. “Murphy Gets Real.” Now Magazine, June 14, Vol. 31 No. 42

Dick, Terence. Akimbo Blog,  June 14

Interview, Mercer Union Blog, March 04

Studio Tour for Mercer Union, Toronto

Dick, Terence. Akimbo Blog,  January 03

2011

Artist Talk at Georgian College

Artist Profile, Juxtapoze Magazine (March): 30

Clarke, Bill. “Jennifer Murphy.” Canadian Art Magazine (Spring): 124

Artist Talk at the University of Guelph

Astrauskas, Romas. Magenta Magazine Online, Winter 2011, Volume 2, No.1

2010

Vaughan, R.M. “Jennifer Murphy’s Sculptural Collages Weave A Hypnotic                    Web.” The Globe and Mail, September 25

Dick, Terence. Akimbo Blog, September 28

Dick, Terence, Akimbo Blog, Critics Picks 2010, December 14,

2009

Interview, Bad Day Magazine, Issue 6

Artist Project, Hunter and Cook Magazine, Fall Issue

Articles, Publications and Lectures

2008

Dick, Terence. Akimbo Blog, December

Sandals, Leah. “Cut and Paste.” Canadian Art Online.

Landry, Mike. Things of Desire. Volume 1 #14.

Studio Blog. Collaboration with Lise Hosein. Art Gallery of York University.

2007

Diack, Heather. “Of Constellations and Incantations.” Ducts.Org, Issue 20

Artist Talk at the University of Toronto

2006

Artist Project Centrefold, C  International Contemporary Art, Fall

Artist Talk at Sheridan College

2005

Papararo, Jenifer. “Bit by Bit.”  The Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver

2004

Wlasenko, Olexander. “2nd Site.” The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa

Dick, Terence. “Jennifer Murphy.” Canadian Art Magazine (Spring): 96

Scheyerer, Nicole. “Kunst Kurtz.”  Kultur 51

2003

Richard Rhodes Lecture on Exhibition Forest Floor at Greener Pastures

Hirschmann, Thomas. “2003 Top Ten Art Shows.” Now Magazine

Milroy, Sarah. “Generation Nex.t” The Globe and Mail, May 10

2002

Artists’ Project. C International Contemporary Art, Issue 74, Summer

Dick, Terence. “Three Short essays on Growing Up.” Fuse Magazine, May

Artist Run Culture. Mix Magazine (Spring) 9 and 16

2001

Artists’ Project. YYZ Artists’ Outlet

The Great Syntax Monument. Mercer Union Publication

Artist Talk, Mercer Union, Toronto

AWARDS

2013

Ontario Arts Council, Individual Visual Artist Grant, Mid Career

Toronto Arts Council, Individual Visual Artist Grant, Mid Career

Now Magazine Best of Toronto, Best Artist Working In Painting, Drawing, Works On   Paper, Printmaking

2011

Ontario Arts Council, Individual Visual Artist Grant, Mid Career

Toronto Arts Council, Individual Visual Artist Grant, Mid Career

2006

Toronto Arts Council, Individual Visual Artist Grant, Emerging

Ontario Arts Council, Exhibition Assistance Grant

Semi-Finalist Nomination for The Sobey Art Award

2005

Ontario Arts Council, Individual Artist Grant, Emerging

2004

Semi-Finalist Nomination for The Sobey Art Award

Ontario Arts Council, Exhibition Assistance Grant

2003

Toronto Arts Council, Individual Artist Grant, Emerging

Ontario Arts Council, Exhibition Assistance Grant

2002

Semi-Finalist Nomination for The Sobey Art Award

Ontario Arts Council, Individual Visual Artist Grant, Emerging

Ontario Arts Council, Exhibition Assistance Grant

RESIDENCIES

2012

A Paper, A Drawing , A Mountain, The Banff Centre, Led by Silke Otto-Knapp and Jan Verwoert

SPECIAL COMMISSIONS

2011    Artist Designed Membership Card, The Power Plant, Toronto

COLLECTIONS

McCarthy Tetrault
T.D. Bank
Bank of Montreal

Related press: Jennifer Murphy and Valerie Blass: Deluxe Redux (The Star, Murray Whyte), Terence Dick on Jennifer Murphy, Lise Hosein on Jennifer Murphy,Canadian Art - Jennifer Murphy “cut and paste”, Jennifer Murphy at Paul Petro,Jennifer Murphy’s sculpture-collages weave a hypnotic web (Globe And Mail), Jennifer Murphy at Clint Roenisch, Mercer Union interview with Jennifer Murphy, Murphy Gets Real (Now Magazine), Terence Dick on Jennifer Murphy Lise Hosein on Jennifer Murphy Canadian Art - Jennifer Murphy “cut and paste” Jennifer Murphy at Paul PetroJennifer Murphy’s sculpture-collages weave a hypnotic web (Globe And Mail) Jennifer Murphy at Clint Roenisch Mercer Union interview with Jennifer Murphy Murphy Gets Real (Now Magazine) Monkey’s Recovery

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