I imagine Gwynn Murrill’s hands are always moving, not only in the service of figuration, but through it, inside it and beyond. One might even be so bold as to say her recent exhibition, “Maquettes,” is obsessive. While each individual figure may or may not stand on its own, it is the sheer force of these small maquettes seen together (over ninety of them represented here) that make this exhibition powerful and affecting. Beautifully organized and displayed on shelves throughout the gallery, each small scale animal figurines--made of wood, ceramic, bronze and aluminum--lends credence to the next through precise placement, suggested movement and their own materiality. Murrill seems more interested in the relationship between the figures and the implied narratives that are a direct result of their positioning than in any one sculpture, which is what makes the exhibition more compelling and richly realized. In short, this show represents Murrill’s own private Birnam Wood, and as with Macbeth, who is warned he’ll “never vanquish'd be until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane hill shall come against him,” there is no telling what might happen.
Published courtesy of ArtScene ©2009