In Land, is an exhibition of lacquer paintings, installations and study objects by American artist Graham Murtough. For this show, Murtough has spent the past three years developing his own version of traditional Japanese lacquer technique to create a body of work that shares his reverent and playful perspective on the natural world. Building up alternating layers of hand ground pigments, oil and varnish, his work subtly plays with illusions of depth and refraction in a way that is both inviting and eluding. The resulting work tantalizes the viewer by occupying a space somewhere between the mythical and the real, the abstract and the actual.
The largest of the lacquer paintings, The Greatest, Greatest Glory, explodes in rich luscious hues of emerald green. Inspired by the Olympic Rainforest in the American Pacific Northwest, it is a testament to the exhilarating sensation of being deep in the ancient forest. Delicate brush strokes echo the hanging silhouettes of lime green moss, while bolder gestures hint at the spiraling branches of the oldest trees. Each of the remaining paintings focus on a certain aspect of the land, seeking to capture and explore specific moods and textures in similarly restrained color pallets. These five singular and permanent works combined with the more transitory study objects and installations transform the gallery into a theatre of light and shadow.
Graham Murtough lives and works in East London. He completed a BA in Fine Art at the College of Santa Fe, Magna Cum Laude, USA (1993-97), whilst also studying at Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy (1996). Previous solo exhibitions include Cascade/Collision Eleven Spitalfields Gallery, London (2009), In Cascade: Interludes The Cave, London (2009), In Cascade The Tab Center, London (2008).
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