BIO Maureen Murray's drawings and paintings are influenced by her rural Rhode Island roots, as nature is the primary subject of both her large, abstract oil paintings and smaller-scale pastel drawings on paper. These lyrical, abstract depictions of nature are constructed as palimpsests, technically created by the application of multiple layers of pigment, while traces of earlier layers remain. Each begins simply with color and natural forms as the layers evolve into a composition that becomes its own world.
Murray had her first solo exhibition at Hera Gallery, sponsored in part by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and received a Juror’s Award in the American Drawing Biennial at Muscarelle Museum of Art, Wiliamsburg, Virginia. Subsequently, she created an animated children’s short film, On the Moon, at Nickelodeon Television studios, which screened at significant children’s film festivals, including. BAMKids Film Festival, Chicago International Children's Film Festival, ASIFA Awards National Screening Tour, and was later broadcast on Plum TV.
Murray graduated from Connecticut College and holds a master’s degree from Rhode Island School of Design. She also attended The Art Students' League of New York. Currently, Murray has embraced the vibrant colors of pastels in works that continue to reflect natural forms, recently exhibiting in group shows at Blink Gallery in Newport, RI and A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, NY.
photo courtesy L. Knappxxxxzxxxxxxxxxxxx
MAUREEN MURRAY IN THE PRESS Murray finds inspiration for her large and expressive canvases in the woods and open fields of her native rural Rhode Island. Enclosed between delicate layers of paint, like palimpsests, the words of New England’s classic poets and authors such as Emily Dickinson and Nathaniel Hawthorne are found as if emerging from the forest or fields in which they were once written.
In her painting titled A Hundred Mysterious Years Whispering Among the Leaves, Murray plays her fluid and natural brushwork against a repeated black and white xeroxed image of a young girl. The image calls to mind albums filled with photos of people and places of the past, as the painting’s title stenciled across the canvas conjures up a mystery, perhaps long ago slipped between the dusty pages of a family album.
Providing a key to the interpretation of her work, Murray writes, “Each painting begins simply with color and natural forms as the layers evolve into a composition that becomes its own world.” Often using a subdued color palette of delicate grays, blues, or pastels, Murray’s paintings convey a connection with the natural world, as experienced through a human relationship. Her paintings evoke a bittersweet sense of remembrance, with her collage works inspiring a feeling of temporality and impermanence.
— The Independent, RI, on Maureen Murray’s solo exhibition at Hera Gallery sponsored in part by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts
A Hundred Mysterious Years Whispering Among the Leaves
Oil and Xeros on canvas, 70 x 60 in.
—Providence Journal, ArtsBeat