Morgan Lehman is pleased to present “The Usual Politics”, a solo exhibition of recent works on paper and paintings by Greg Murr.
In “The Usual Politics”, Murr uses the dog as a metaphor for humanity’s basically innocent nature that is corruptible by society’s charms and the false promises of the political system. Murr’s return to the canine motif (previously explored in a series in 2001) was precipitated by the heated presidential race that captivated not only the American public, but the world at large in 2008.
In this series, Murr’s dogs stand in as anonymous representatives of humanity, whose uncomplicated animal nature is altered by the introduction of symbolic trappings of society: high-heels, jewelry, and other emblems of luxury, technology and popular culture. In some works, such as “Election Day, 2008”, the dogs can be found congregating in an absent space, noses to the ground and guided by instinct, yet still tethered to leashes that end mysteriously in the sky. In “Faith (Pump)” a group of dogs sit in a circle, gazing up at a woman’s red shoe, as if this central object was worthy of worship, or emanating control over its constituents. In “Study for Civilization”, dogs are stacked up on top of each other, in an absurd pyramid, with the top animal reaching to eat an apple from the crown of a tree.
Are they each striving to reach the top at the expense of those on the bottom? Is there a mysterious guiding force to the leashed animals’ lives, or are they in fact each their own individual master? Why do they appear to be swayed by consumer-driven self affirmation? “Who is leading, and towards what?,” queries Murr in his artist statement. By asking these questions, Murr gently lures the viewer into a critique of society and it’s imperfect political system.
Greg Murr’s work is held in numerous collections including The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; The Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe; and Wake Forest University, NC. He has exhibited with Loeser-Marzi Projects, Berlin; The Katonah Museum of Art; Museo dell’Agro Veientano, Rome; The Salt Lake Arts Center; The Center for Book Arts, New York; Perimeter Gallery, Chicago; and Turner Carroll Gallery, Santa Fe. Greg Murr currently lives and works in Berlin Germany.