The Still Life Question

Peggy Murphy through February 29, 2020

Leopard and Lamp 2019 acrylic/canvas 36″x36″

This group of new paintings by Peggy Murphy carries forward her signature exuberant expression and complex layering, revealing the thinner, veiled patterns, textures and colors in small areas, while the surface is scraped or builds up with much thicker areas of color and line work. The sheer physicality and interrogation of both paint as the tool, and the alternation between abstraction and recognizable imagery create a sensation of richness and excitement. She says that it all began with drawings of things that were laying around the house. One can also see traces of her previous landscape works in several of the new paintings, but now several of the new works have suggested table tops which are full of all kinds of things. There is a leopard, a lamp, a fan, a mask, bottles and vases that appear in various forms through several canvases, but there is also a wonderfully ethereal golden and dappled light that shines from a lamp.  The works are thoughtfully grouped in four sets, each having shared characteristics and color palettes.  Murphy’s original question, ‘Why paint a still life?” is answered here, ‘Because chasing the question is the point of the work’.  

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