* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
Marilyn Murphy is an artist whose drawings and oil paintings create curious situations implying a larger story that often explores dualities both formally and conceptually (safety and danger, peace and turmoil, fire and water). Born in Tulsa, she received her BFA from Oklahoma State University and her MFA from the University of Oklahoma. A Professor of Art at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, her work has been shown in more than 300 exhibitions nationally and abroad. Recently, she had solo exhibitions at Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago and Cumberland Gallery in Nashville. In 2004, the Frist Center for the Visual Art had a mid career survey of her paintings, drawings and prints. She has curated more than 30 exhibitions and her work is in many public and private collections including the Kemper Collection, Huntsville Museum of Art, the Boston Museum School, and the Prudential and Bridgestone Collections.
Marilyn explains her work by saying, “My drawings in graphite or colored pencil typically include one or two figures involved in an improbable action or working at some curious task. Many of the pieces in this series comment upon the act of seeing, the creative process or some aspect of human experience. Strong lighting and shadows create a sense of mystery while the identities of the men and women are obscured in order to direct the focus of the viewer toward their activity. Magazines from the 1940’s and early 1950’s often inspire the images I create. Growing up on the Great Plains, I often include the action of the wind in my work. Often the objects are beyond reach or curiously out of human scale to create a dreamlike atmosphere where the objects can be read as symbolic or actual.”