- Wil Murray
- 7 x 5 in.
b.1978, Calgary, Canada. lives and works in Calgary, Alberta.
Murray manipulates found images, vintage pigments and photographic processes into hybrid forms that reference the sensibilities and irreverent nature of the pop art era. Each element in his intensely colourful mixed-media collages is introduced and reworked into a series of juxtapositions rather than something that can decidedly be called a composition. This interest in an aesthetic of the incidental, the tangential and the circuitous makes sense when one learns that the artist has long been haunted by a quote on writing by the author John Hawkes: “I began to write fiction on the assumption that the true enemies of the novel were plot, character, setting and theme, and having once abandoned these familiar ways of thinking about fiction, totality of vision or structure was really all that remained.”The titles that Murray gives to his work—In My Culture Food Wasn’t Very Important (2011)— also confirm the artist's decision to jettison narrative rationales in favour of more discursive engagements with his material and medium.
His larger collages are presented alongside a series of hand-coloured, multiple-exposure photographic prints. In each case Murray's process is made visible in a final image or object. In his prints, the accumulation of media occurs through the manual layering of pigment, paper and photographic distortions that also present as paint-strokes thereby troubling the viewer's reading of the integrity of his materials.
Wil Murray was born in Calgary, Canada in 1978. He studied painting at the Alberta College of Art and Design and has since then exhibited regularly in both international and Canadian venues such as The National Gallery of Canada, East and Peggy Phelps Galleries (Claremont, US) and Staatsgalerie Prenzlauer Berg (Berlin). Recent solo exhibitions include; ‘Please Boss Remember Me’, VITRINE Bermondsey Street, London (2014); ‘Die Welt in Farben’, P|M Gallery, Toronto (2014); Carte Blanche 2, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto (2012); and ‘Last Summer I Build A 1:8 Scale Model of Your Vagina’, Staatsgalerie Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin. He received an honourable mention in the prestigious RBC Canadian Painting Competition and his work was featured in the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art’s 2008 exhibition for national top-painters ‘Carte Blanche Vol. 2’. Murray also played in several notoriously loud and short-spoken experimental bands. His work has also been chosen for presentation in Future Station: The Alberta Biennial 2015 at the Art Gallery of Alberta in Canada.