Weitzman News

Posted November 5, 2015
  • Deirdre Murphy, 'Winds of Change', oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches, 2015, on view in 'Winds of Change'
  • 'Migratory Paths,' installation view
  • 'Migratory Paths,' installation view

PennDesign's Deirdre Murphy Has Dual Solo Shows This November


PennDesign Fine Arts faculty member and alumnus Deirdre Murphy's new work is the subject of a solo exhibition at the Gross McCleaf Gallery. Concurrently, an exhibition of her work entitled Migratory Paths is on view at URBN Gallery 543, featuring works on paper spanning from 2010 - 2015 that chart her pursuit of the intersection of art and science. 

Murphy brings the concept of nature paintings into the 21st century transforming ostensibly traditional subject matter into an exploration of time and space. In the exhibition catalog, Margaret Winslow, Associate Curator for Contemporary Art, Delaware Art Museum, writes of Murphy’s recent paintings:

“Murphy is a keen observer of the relationships between the micro and the macro, those points in space that align travel routes to constellations and flight trajectories to wind currents. She approaches this interest with the attentiveness of a scientist, observing, researching, and tracking changes. The shifts that occur—the effects of global warming on raptor migration—are noted but not critiqued, and similarly the industrial patterning created across a morning sky is handled with care and precision devoid of appraisal. Murphy’s paintings link nature’s aesthetics in a manner similar to how a social graph makes users aware of their interconnectedness; the formal similarities are emphasized for the viewer’s contemplation.” 

The artist informs and relocates our appreciation of natural phenomenon through geometric interventions and creates structure from the seeming randomness of nature.  Lifelike renderings of birds contrast starkly with the synthetic palette Murphy uses for the ground and the abstract lines and forms that radiate throughout the compositions. She implores the viewer to stop and pay close attention to “a moment between action and stasis….that tenuous point where journeys past shift to trajectories forward.” (Winslow). 

Winds of Change is on view at the Gross McCleaf Gallery, 127 South Sixteenth Street, Philadelphia, from November 4 - 28. There is an opening reception on Friday, November 6, from 5:00 - 7:00pm.

Migratory Paths is on view at the URBN Gallery 543 @ the Naval Yard, URBN Outfitters Headquarters, 5000 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, from November 3 - December 7.

Murphy has received numerous awards and grants (most notably, the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowship and a Leeway Foundation Award), has been the subject of six solo exhibitions in Philadelphia and participated in numerous group exhibitions in New York, Delaware, Minnesota and Oregon. Her work has been exhibited at institutions including the Philadelphia International Airport, the Palm Springs Museum of Art, the Biggs Museum in Delaware, the New Bedford Museum in MA, and the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington. She currently has a long-term installation at the Philadelphia International Airport, titled Sky Paintings, which is on view in the hallway that connects terminal C & D through 2016.