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Megan Murphy
PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, Oregon
Recommendation by Richard Speer


Megan Murphy, "Watch," 2016, digital pigment print and dry transfer lettering on vellum, 18 x 36"

Continuing through October 1, 2016

The inspiration for Megan Murphy’s “Pilgrim” flows literally from her backyard in Ketchum, Idaho: a bucolic landscape of drooping trees and dappled light, with a creek winding lazily over smooth stones. She celebrates these environs in elegiac tableaux of an eternal springtime, inviting viewers to reflect upon the ephemerality of nature and time. The works are birthed via an unorthodox process, weaving together drawing, painting, photography and text, incorporating a mélange of oil paint, vellum, glass, mirror, wax and digital transparency.

The sylvan scenes she depicts are so lush, you can practically feel the chlorophyll seeping through the tree branches like green blood — and yet the works’ color palette is for the most part limited to shimmering grayscale, most beguilingly in pieces such as “Discern,” “Gaze,” “Pilgrim” and “Search,” the latter two of which are presented as diptychs. Despite the complexity of her technique, Murphy evokes a kind of hushed, rapturous simplicity. These are visual paeans to a sense of place.


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