Obstruction of Clarity No. 2: Trip to NYC and Morristown NJ

My wife and I spent a long weekend in NYC and Morristown NJ in early June.  The weekend was filled with great food (employees only, shake shack, etc), a few walks through central park, a stop a Bemelman's Bar to see his Madeline paintings, and a visit to the Neue Museum where we had a chance to see the Gustav Klimt and Adele Bloch-Bauer: Woman in Gold exhibit.  If you are in New York this summer visit the gallery.  The show is open through September 7th.  

Fun aside, the trip included stops to see two of my paintings, one in Harlem and another, a recent commission, in Morristown, NJ.  The Morristown painting was delivered the day before our arrival, just in time for me to help my newest patrons hang the work.  


Our base camp, as it always is when we visit NYC, was in Harlem on the east side of Morningside Park.  Liz and Jim Connors, our gracious hosts, have one of my paintings and this visit was the first opportunity I had to see the work since it was packaged and shipped to Harlem.  That was 5 years ago! 

Excitement took over when I entered the living room where the painting hangs above the couch.  Often when a painting leaves the studio my opinion of it is uncertain.  A result of many hours of working on the image and assessing its characteristics.  Years apart give it a fresh vibrancy, as if seeing it for the first time.  Any uncertainty that lingered is gone.  

Its a deep penetrating blue painting full of nuance and expression. 

On the Friday of our trip we ventured out to Morristown, NJ via Penn Station.  After a 45 minute ride we departed the train at Convent Station where we were greeted by my good friend and patron Will Freshwater.  Will and his partner Stephen Cremen moved to NJ in the last few years and have been putting the finishing touches on their house.  Along time admirer of my Obstruction of Clarity painting, Will asked if I would revisit the theme and paint a variation of the work.  Excited to revisit the theme I agreed and completed Obstruction of Clarity No. 2 in early May, 2015.  That Friday evening there was much conversation regarding the location that the painting should assume.  These types of considerations require a certain amount of wine and open discussion.  While wine is a great facilitator for discussion and the contemplation of a painting's place in the house, it is not a helpful accompaniment to hanging the work.  Hanging the painting had to wait until the morning.   

With the arrival of Saturday, and fresh eyes to affirm the previous nights decision, Will and I doubled checked each location previously discussed.  The final resting place would be to the right of the fireplace; the original space where Will intended to place the painting and for which the size was determined.  I look forward to seeing Obstruction of Clarity No. 2 with fresh eyes and renewed excitement.  Enjoy Will and Steven!  Thank you for your support. 

Obstruction of Clarity No. 2, oil on linen, 20 x 40 in. 

Obstruction of Clarity No. 2, oil on linen, 20 x 40 in. 

Colorida Gallery Show, Lisbon, Portugal 2014

I just wanted to say thank you to Rosemary Esteter and Jose Roberto Moreira at Colorida Gallery for a successful show. Here is a picture of my work in the gallery.  I look forward to the opportunity to work with Rosemary and Jose again in the future.

Colorida Gallery Show - Miraculous Escape from Customs

Hello readers.  The seven paintings that I shipped to Colorida Gallery in Lisbon Portugal have been stuck in customs since they arrived on October 6th.  In my last post, I expected the worst.  I must extend a big thank you to Rosemary of Colorida Gallery for assisting with customs and ultimately rescuing the paintings.  Yesterday they cleared customs and earlier today Rosemary retrieved them from the post office, just one full day before the opening.  

So, it's with excitement that I can say that the show will open on October 18th!  Curator Jose Roberto Moreira describes the paintings beautifully in the show invite, which I have translated for you.  If the show is successful, I hope that it will be the first of many at Colorida Gallery.


Translation from the Colorida Gallery Invitation: 

The work of Canadian artist Benjamin Murphy exudes sensitivity and invites the viewer to reflect.  The artist breaks the dependency on the figurative and combines colors and compositions with smoothness and accuracy.  The boundaries between one color and another arise spontaneously and are finished in a process in which body and mind work in communion.  Benjamin Murphy lives and works in Chicago, United States.
-Jose Roberto Moreira, curator and gallerist, Colorida Art Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal

Colorida Art Gallery

COCKTAIL DE INAUGURAÇÃO: Sábado, 18 de Outubro, pelas 19h00

Os trabalhos do artista canadiano Benjamin Murphy exalam sensibilidade e convidam o observador a reflexão. O artista rompe com a dependência do figurativo e combina cores e composições com suavidade e precisão. A fronteira entre uma cor e outra nasce espontaneamente e é finalizada em um processo em que o corpo e a mente trabalham em comunhão. (José Roberto Moreira, curador e galerista). Benjamin Murphy vive e trabalha em Chicago, Estados Unidos. 

PATENTE ATÉ 31 DE OUTUBRO DE 2014, das 14h30 às 18h00.

Costa do Castelo, 63, Lisboa
Tel 218853347

So close, yet so far . . .

Good news, my paintings arrived in Portugal in time for the October 18th show at Colorida Art Gallery in Lisbon, Portugal.

Bad news, it doesn't look like the paintings will clear customs before the 18th.  

So unfortunately it does not look like I will be participating in the October 18th opening.  Despite this round of bad luck, I must say that the gallery has been very helpful working with the postoffice on my behalf.  All I can do now is wait, and hope for the work's quick return.  

Wish me luck, or rather wish those paintings luck.  More updates soon.  


Light Space & Time Gallery, 5th Annual “Abstracts” Exhibition: Special Merit Award

I am pleased to announce that my painting, STUDY NO. 19, received the Special Merit Award for the 5th Annual “Abstracts” Art Exhibition held by Light Space & Sound Gallery. The theme for this art exhibition is abstracts and artists were asked to submit their best nonobjective or nonrepresentational art for this competition. The gallery received submissions from 21 different countries, and 35 states. Overall, there were 896 entries which were judged for this art competition.

Have a look at the YouTube video and enjoy viewing work from myself and other award winning artist. Enjoy.

Colorida Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal, Show Opens October 18th

Excitement!  I have finished the last of 7 paintings that will be on display at Colorida Gallery in Lisbon, Portugal.  The show opens on October 18th.  This 7th and final painting exudes deep blues and screams with two burst of cadmium red.  The other six works, which also highlight these two colors, can be viewed in my previous post. 

Untitled No. 45, oil on canvas, 12 x 24 in.

Group show at Colorida Art Gallery in Lisbon, Portugal

I was recently contacted by Colorida Art Gallery and have been invited to show a selection of work.  While I am still discussing dates, I have selected four works and am working on a fifth that will be included in the show.  When the fifth painting is finished I will be sure to follow up with a post.  Three of the five paintings are 12 x 24 inches.  The two additional paintings are small sketches measuring 6 x 12 inches.  Please share your impressions and thoughts about the paintings.

Untitled No. 44, oil on canvas, 12 x 24 in.

Untitled No. 43, oil on canvas, 12 x 24 in.

Study No. 18, oil on canvas, 6 x 12 in.

Study No. 20, oil on canvas, 6 x 12 in.

The First Post And A New Painting Series

It’s time for a new painting series. For this venture I’m going to focus on contrasts between hot and cold colors, with one of the two taking a predominant role in each work.  I’ll be starting with 8 to 10 oil sketches on 6 x 12 in canvas, half of which are warm in color and half cool in color.  4 or 5 compositions will be utilized, each will have a warm and cool counterpart.  With some luck I’ll get some momentum and continue beyond the 8 to 10 small works.

Once I see good results emerge from working through compositions and color strategies it will be time to start on the actual painting series.  Using selected sketches I’ll begin to paint on several 24 x 48 in canvases.  Using the oil sketches as a starting point I hope to end up with a small suite of abstract paintings.  Expect strong color combinations, organic shapes, and controlled yet expressive brush work.

Time to see what the New Year will bring.