Murray’s practice explores journeys as transformative mechanisms: how does meaning change as something moves from one point to another? Using a hybrid of photography and painting to highlight the role of an object, he investigates relationships between time and substance. Murray subjects his objects to processes beyond their initial intended purpose. They become a form in space, photographed and modified, and perhaps combined with cutouts and fabric swatches.
In his recent series including ‘Adieu Vielle Europe’ and ‘Maustlize’ found images of landscapes and interiors are retraced through paint. Further new collage works lay roots in earlier paintings, which the artist redevelops through a series of time-rich processes. In his ‘Collaged Drape’ series, work is repainted and partially obscured with fabric drapes before being photographed in black and white. Murray then recolours the single and multiple exposure prints with photo-oil paint.
“When I need one paint stroke, I make twenty of them on a piece of glass, to be peeled up and applied later. When I need photos, I shoot and print a whole roll of 36 exposures. When I want figures and textures from old magazines I spend a day processing them, cutting out hundreds of possible images. Even labour-intensive weaving is done longer than needed.” Wil Murray.
Wil Murray (b.1978, Calgary, Canada) studied painting at the Alberta College of Art and Design.
Recent solo exhibitions include: ‘NOT A PHOTO’, The Hole, New York City, USA (2015); ‘The Enemies of the Novel’, Back Gallery Project, Vancouver (2015); ‘On Invasive Species and Infidelity’, The Art Gallery of Alberta, CA (2015); ‘Please Boss Remember Me’, VITRINE, London (2014); ‘Die Welt In Farben’ P|M Gallery, Toronto (2014); ‘Painted Shut’, VITRINE, London (2013); ‘Maintain The Ruin’, P|M Gallery, Toronto (2012); ‘Modulations’, Library Cote-St.Luc, Montreal (2012); and ‘Last Summer I Build A 1:8 Scale Model of Your Vagina’, Staatsgalerie Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin (2011). His group shows include: ‘Sought’ at Jarvis Hall Fine Art, Calgary, CA; VITRINE with Contemporary Arts Society, ‘Art in the Home 2’, York (2014); ‘The Painting Project’, GALERIE DE L’UQAM in Montreal, CA (2013); ‘The Combinational’, Studio 1.1, London (2014); ‘Made in Alberta Part IV’, The Art Gallery of Calgary, CA (2013); XSTRACTION, The Hole, New York, USA (2013) and ‘Broadcast, Funkhaus Nalepastrasse, Berline, DE (2012).
He received an honourable mention in the prestigious RBC Canadian Painting Competition and his work was also featured in the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art’s 2008 exhibition for national top-painters ‘Carte Blanche Vol. 2’. His work was included in the Alberta Biennale in 2015 and solo booth in ‘Dialogues’ a curated section of Art Projects at London Art Fair (2015). He has shown with p|m Gallery at Papier Art Fair (2013); Art MRKT Fair (2013) and Art Toronto (2013/2015) and by VITRINE at The Manchester Contemporary (2013). Murray has also played in several notoriously loud and short-spoken experimental bands. Wil Murray is currently included in the group exhibition ‘A Journey from a sweeping gesture to a lasting effect’, at VITRINE, Basel.