Ciarán Murphy: there, there now

Installation Views
Press release

GRIMM is pleased to present there, there now, a solo exhibition of recent work by Ciarán Murphy. This is the artist's seventh solo presentation with the gallery and his sixth solo exhibition with GRIMM in Amsterdam.

Our knowledge is patterned from what we forget, as much as what we can recall. We exist in what never reaches that minor part of us in the conscious spectrum, as much as in what does. We are also what hides in blanks, gaps and aporia, in outlines, skeletons, in anticipation and afterimage.

The selection of works that make up Ciarán Murphy's solo show there, there now, were developed during a residency in the artist's homeland, Ireland and evoke a fleeting encounter with a shifting place; a journey partly captured from a moving vantage point. Together, the images relay a drawn-out sense of time in the liminal coastal landscape, framed by the tide and movement of the sun. Although many of the forms that appear throughout this exhibition are recognizable (clouds, rock formations, sea creatures, etc.) they veer towards enigmatic; objects that appear in varying states of flux: they float, are in the midst of changing form, and reside somewhere between appearing and disappearing.

Throughout there is a subtle play with boundaries and proximities - in some instances birds are seen up close but violently cropped while in other places inanimate rocks seem as lively as the creatures that move around them. In Long drive back for example, the viewer can recognize hands on a steering wheel but the space between the car interior and the exterior landscape is blurred, giving the image a dream-like quality. The work has strong affinities with subjective mental processes like remembering and dreaming, processes which can also be understood as an effort to give consistency to fractured, disparate information, oscillating between fragmentation and order.

These paintings take shape through a non-linear working methodology. Images are often started, then left to gestate, only to be revisited at a later time. This process allows for unanticipated changes of direction and thus for meaning to slide. Perhaps it is this approach to art making that gives the work its fragile and mutable quality. There, there now captures a sense of place through fragments, charting the artist's exploration of a familiar landscape along with associated perceptions, highlights, and memories.

1. Quote taken from Luke Clancy's 2013 essay Time after Time on the work of Ciarán Murphy.