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Colette Murphy: White Elephant


15 March to 19 April 2014

Opening: Friday, 14 March 2014, 7:00 to 10:00 pm
The artist will be present.

Ice. The symbolic associations with simple frozen water are various. Unlike fire, however, its metaphorical complement on the other end of the temperature scale, the notions conjured up with ice are traditionally disturbing or negative, a curiosity so obvious that it is generally left unrecognized.

The Irish-American painter Colette Murphy speaks in analogies, parables and symbols. As a result, her representational – often figurative – painting is laden with meaning, usually subtle, often unexpected, always ambiguous but compelling.

In White Elephant, her second solo exhibition, at the Emerson Gallery Berlin, Murphy turns her attention to an exploration of the notions associated with the confrontation of massive blocks of ice, icebergs, presented devoid of their usual context at the polar caps.

Given the popular attention in the media linking icebergs to the controversy surrounding climate change and global warming, the viewer’s first glance of Murphy’s work might confine interpretation of the paintings to the obvious ecological issues of the value and power of pristine nature. The exhibition’s title and an unsettling work, Summit, an iceberg densely populated with neatly posed soldiers, both puncture and complicate the possibilty of a simple understanding of these paintings, however.

In the end, Murphy’s paintings remain enigmatic, leaving the viewer to contemplate their sheer aesthetic value as painting, line, color and composition. Raw brown burlap contrasts starkly with the cold, slick subject matter of the work, for instance. Even as a single, convincing meaning of her work remains elusive, the viewer is aware of the secret of the layered significance of Colette Murphy’s painted scenes: the critical precision of an artist’s icy gaze.

Duration of the Exhibition: 15 March to 19 April 2014
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday 2:00 – 7:00 pm, Saturday 12:00 – 4:00 pm and by appointment

With an expression of gratitude to THE CORPORATE SUPPORTERS PROGRAM.



Coming Soon: Steingrimur Eyfjörd

On Friday 2 May 2014 (from 7:00 - 10:00 pm) EGB will be opening its second exhibition with Iceland's renowned conceptual artist Steingrimur Eyfjörd: »KELLINGIN - The Troll Woman.«

Humor with bite is among the distinctive traits of the art of Steingrimur Eyfjörd. In his latest exhibit at Emerson Gallery Berlin, Eyfjörd presents the results of an on-going, socially critical artist's journal. The product of the artist's residency from 2010 - 2012 at Dale i Sunnfjord, Norway includes 238 graphic works compiled into seven notebooks and supplemented by various art objects.

Perusal of the books reveals and intertwines private experiences, poignant commentary regarding politics and social circumstances as well as incisive artistic considerations. As always with Eyfjörd, the foundation holding all of these diverse strains of thought together is Nordic mythology and sagas, which act as a counterpoint to today's mass media and 24/7 news cycle.

Texts, drawings and photos are collaged together to document Eyfjörd's thoughts. These books are more than artistically embellished personal diaries, however: In the spirit of the Fluxus movement, the artist invites his audience to join him in the process of elevating the personal and trivial into something amusingly enlightening. The sense and nonsense of our society is laid bare offering criticism with a light-hearted sensibility.

The title of the exhibition refers to the Icelandic figure of the Troll Woman, who offers a folksy guiding hand on this artistic journey, navigating us through Eyfjörd's dream landscape. The journey is a contemporary adventure though the looking glass with a distinctively Nordic twist...

Steingrimur Eyfjörd was born in 1954 in Reykjavik, Iceland. He has achieved an international reputation through his activities since the 1970s as a dominant figure of the Icelandic art scene, contributing not only as a visual artist but also as curator, writer and instructor. In 2007 he was selected to represent Iceland at its Pavillion at the 52nd Venice Biennale.

Duration of the Exhibition:  3 May till 14 July 2014


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Last update:  24.04.14 17:01
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