Marilyn Murphy

Gallery Affiliations: Carl Hammer Gallery, Cumberland Gallery, Adler & Co.

Region: South


City / State: Nashville, TN

My paintings and drawings 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 on the act of seeing, the creative process, or some aspect of human experience. Strong lighting with deep shadows creates a sense of mystery while obscuring the identity of the men and women in order to direct the focus toward their activity.

My drawings and paintings are informed by film noir and the optimism of magazines from the 1940s and early 1950s. Growing up on the Great Plains, I also often include the action of the wind in my work. Objects that are beyond reach or out of scale create a surprising atmosphere where the elements of an image can be read as either symbolic or actual.

The writings of Gaston Bachelard (1884–1962), particularly his books Air and Dreams and The Poetics of Space, have long resonated with my interest in dreamlike imagery.