Skew Gallery is pleased to present its second solo exhibition by Will Murray. Feeling the historical weight of Berlin, and its deep sense of loss, his work in Follow the Winter has taken a heavier turn. Murray continues his exploration of collage construction and the reactionary relationships that supervene the acts of painting and their documentation.In this new body of work, he also introduces the figure for the first time. Through photography sourced from old European books found in East Berlin flea markets, photo images of schoolboys and woman in Russian folk dress are incorporated into his paintings, additionally complicating the composition built from layers of paint, photos and weaving . This process extends in the opposite direction as well, with shrouded paintings photographed, printed and collaged onto figures pulled from the same books.
Murray’s life in Berlin has provided the stimulus to explore mediums that until now have only been nodded to in his painting practice. A stimulus that is a resonant contradiction; emotion, place and history intermingle.
“Every day on the way to my Berlin studio, I pass a miserable old jail that has the kind of history that makes one feel queasy. A sign hangs out front that reads “Live In A Monument”. They are renovating the jail into condos. The sign is meant for me and the rest of the city’s ex-pats and transplants. The thought of living in this monument would sicken anyone who had lived with the threat of being forced to.
I moved to this city to be with Julia. She was born in East Berlin. To care for her I pay very close attention to what my hands are doing. What marks they leave, what they pick up, how well they can make someone understand something. This means my actions in the studio feel even more harrowing. Or maybe they are now balanced by an equal weight held in something that cannot be inventoried between its walls and my skin. To love is to feel loss. On my tram ride to the studio, I ask myself: How do you maintain a ruin? How do you follow the winter?”
-Wil Murray, Spring 2012, Berlin, Germany.
For more information regarding Skew Gallery programing please contact Emily Barnett at 403.809.4680 or email to email@example.com