James Austin Murray

According to New York artist, James Austin Murray,
"The focus in my paintings is light. They have a reflective nature that interacts with the light around them. This makes the work subtly interactive with their environments. Black absorbs the full spectrum of light and what we have left is pure reflections of color.

I'm compelled to make these paintings by my interest in light and movement, in the paint itself, and the color and character of reflective light.

At times I work off-square. I let the shapes influence the paint and give it both a parameter to play with and work within."

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James Austin Murray

James Austin Murray

James Austin Murray Biography

James Austin Murray’s paintings are made using the most basic of means: ivory black oil paint, a canvas and wood-panel support, and wallpaper brushes—up to nine affixed to a long handle. But the surface effects are far from simple, and indeed offer an almost otherworldly experience, as the striations from the brush take the eye on a roller-coaster journey into pleats and folds, over light-struck hillocks and into shadowy crooks and bends. Depending on where you stand, the paintings look like a forbidding landscape you could walk right into. It’s a visual encounter that is both unsettling and profoundly seductive.

 

New York City artist, James Austin Murray is a graduate of Parsons School of Design, New York . He has exhibited throughout the world -- US, Asia and Europe -- including New York, Miami, California, St. Louis, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and a recent two person show in Monaco. He is a recipient of the Dedalus Foundation Fellowship Award for residency at The Vermont Studio Center, VT and has completed residencies at The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild in Woodstock, NY and Bermis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, NE.

Murray’s work is found in public collections such Sofitel (Philadelphia, PA), Hotel Palomar (Philadelphia, PA), Four Seasons Hotel (Washington, D.C.), Omni Hotel (Nashville, TN) and Tom Ford (Designer).

 

James Austin Murray Description

James Austin Murray’s paintings are made using the most basic of means: ivory black oil paint, a canvas and wood-panel support, and wallpaper brushes—up to nine affixed to a long handle. But the surface effects are far from simple, and indeed offer an almost otherworldly experience, as the striations from the brush take the eye on a roller-coaster journey into pleats and folds, over light-struck hillocks and into shadowy crooks and bends. Depending on where you stand, the paintings look like a forbidding landscape you could walk right into. It’s a visual encounter that is both unsettling and profoundly seductive.

 

New York City artist, James Austin Murray is a graduate of Parsons School of Design, New York . He has exhibited throughout the world -- US, Asia and Europe -- including New York, Miami, California, St. Louis, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and a recent two person show in Monaco. He is a recipient of the Dedalus Foundation Fellowship Award for residency at The Vermont Studio Center, VT and has completed residencies at The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild in Woodstock, NY and Bermis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, NE.

Murray’s work is found in public collections such Sofitel (Philadelphia, PA), Hotel Palomar (Philadelphia, PA), Four Seasons Hotel (Washington, D.C.), Omni Hotel (Nashville, TN) and Tom Ford (Designer).

 

James Austin Murray Statement

According to James Austin Murray: “My work as an artist is about searching and it’s a little like searching in a dark room with a flashlight that will only brighten a few inches in front of it. We artists feel our way along the walls and try to identify the furniture and layout of the place that we find ourselves in. We use the tools we have and each of us arrive with slightly different tools. Each of us learn to build different tools to help us plod on in the dark.

 

Sometimes the dark is where you find the best surprises. Almost a decade ago, I moved from figurative work to working on small canvases, limiting myself to black oil paint. Forcing this parameter on myself was unpredictably liberating. Over the years I’ve expanded and contracted on my limiting parameters. I spent several years building shaped canvases which were a jumping off point for the paint that followed. Nearly a year and a half ago, I decided to go back to a single shape, the square. I wasn’t sure how far I could take it before I hit a wall and needed to reconsider the next step.

 

To my surprise, I found this even tighter parameter offered more of the unexpected. Every time I felt myself inching up to that wall, I found a way past it. Like martial arts, there was a type of repetition involved and I knew that if I ever got to the point where I could only repeat myself, I would be done with it. The surprise I am talking about is the increments of improvement in the technique and subject. I gathered more control and became more demanding of the work and more and more of the paintings would get scrapped because they just weren’t as good as I came to expect. In truth, I keep expecting to hit the wall but somehow I keep getting past it.”

James Austin Murray Resumé

James Austin Murray

 

Selected Exhibitions

Selected Solo Shows

2018    Distant Stars, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, MO

            Future Proof, Lyons Wier Gallery, NY

2017    Light on Black, Madison Gallery, La Jolla, CA (upcoming)

            Solo Booth, Scope NY with Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY

2016    Super Massive Black Hole, Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY

2015    Asia Contemporary Art Show, Hong Kong, China

2014    Art Market Hamptons, with Lyons Wier Gallery (Bridgehampton, NY)

            Lyons Wier Gallery, (NYC)

            Asia Contemporary Art Show, (Hong Kong, China)

2013    Ides of March, Narthex Gallery at St. Peters (NYC)

2007    Tree’s Whisper, Dam-Stuhltrager (Brooklyn, NY)

2005    Over-On, Dam-Stuhltrager (Brooklyn, NY)

2004    Visiting Artist, International Gallery of Contemporary Art (Anchorage, AK)

2001    On and Off White, L.I.C.K. Ltd, Fine Art (LIC, NY)

 

Two Person Shows

2019    Curved Lines, Opera Gallery, Monaco

2018    Convergent Evolution, REDSEA Gallery, Singapore

 

Selected Group Shows

2018    Autumnal Group Exhibition, Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY

2017    Chromatopia, Tacit Gallery, Abbotsford, Vic, Australia

            Luminance, Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY

            STROKE OF GENIUS, Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY

2016    Walking Slow, Brooklyn Workshop Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2015    Fourthought (four person show), Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY

2015    Lost Cat, Cape Cod Museum of Art, Dennis, MA

            Governors Island Art Fair, New York, NY

            Unlimited Potential, Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY

            Pulse New York with Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY

2014    Art Miami, Lyons Wier Gallery, (Miami, FL)

            The New Artist Preview, Melissa Morgan Fine Art, (Desert Springs, CA)

2013    1stDibs, New York Design Center, (NYC)

2012    Governors Island Art Fair, (NYC)

2011    Highline Open Studio Preview Exhibition, (NYC)

2011    Dia:Beacon Staff Exhibition, Marion Royael Gallery, (Beacon, NY)

2008    American Lifescape, DBA256, (Pomona, CA)

            NYU Small works show, 80 WSE, (NYC)

            Panorama Project 3, Jonathan LeVine Gallery, (NYC)

            Scope Miami, Dam-Stuhltrager, (Miami, FL)

2005    Scope Miami, Dam-Stuhltrager, (Miami, FL)

            New Artist Show, Bettcher Gallery, (Miami, FL)

            Le Papier, Gescheidle Gallery, (Chicago, Illinois)

            Group Show, Soho Myriad, (Atlanta, GA)

            Scope NY, Lyons-Wier Gallery, (NYC)

2002    The Panorama Project, The Front Room (Brooklyn, NY)

2001    The Exquisite Day Project, Plus Ultra (Brooklyn, NY)

2000    Flowers and Configurations, Angel International Art, (EastHampton, NY)

1999    Sex Death and Religion, Gershwin Hotel Gallery, (NYC)

            Size Matters, Gale Gates et al. (Brooklyn, NY)

            Places People, 313 Gallery, (NYC)

1992    Human Condition, 313 Gallery, (NYC)

 

Awards and Residences

2011    Dedalus Foundation Fellowship Award for residency at VSC

            Residency at The Vermont Studio Center

            Artist in Residence at The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild

2012    Bemis Center for Contemporary Art

 

Public Collections

Sofitel, Philadelphia, PA

Hotel Palomar, Philadelphia, PA

Four Seasons Hotel, Washington D.C.

Omni Hotel, Nashville, TN

Tom Ford, Designer

Publications 

October 2018, http://voyageatl.com/interview/art-life-james-austin-murray/

January 2017, http://vasari21.com/james-austin-murray/

March 2014, https://artefuse.com/2014/04/07/james-austin-murray-mystery-of-light-at-lyons-wier-gallery/

March 2014, http://sbmacinnis.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/have-you-met-james-austin-murray/

April 2013, http://studiocritical.blogspot.com

March and April 2013, www.artorbiter.com

August 2012, http://www.joannemattera.blogspot.com/2012/08/fifty-shades-of-gray.html

February and April 2012, www.artorbiter.com

April 2006, Artinfo.com

September 2005, New York Daily News, featured artist “Open Studios”

February 2004, Artnet

November 2001, The Tribeca Trib, Tribeca Personal

September 2001, ABC Evening News, Interview and discussion of exhibition

September 2001, New York Post, Page Six mention of opening that evening

November 2000, Bloomberg Business News, Interview: “Silent Auction Fundraiser for The Burn Center Foundation’

Summer 2000, Arts4all.com, “Murray headed east, an American in Kosice”

June 2000, The Tribeca Trib, “Out of the Flames” review by Jeanne C. Wilkinson

May 2000, New York Contemporary Art Report, review of “Hello Goodbye”

April 2000, Arts4all.com, Review of Paint Club project

March 18th and 19th 2000, NY1, Television interview and review of Paint Club project

February 2000, Makta Opas (Finish cultural magazine), Article about NY artist as curator

November 21, 1999, New York Times

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