Jeff Bailey Gallery is pleased to present Martin McMurray, Reenactments, an exhibition of paintings and drawings.
In McMurray’s new work, couples and isolated figures are caught in intimate moments of everyday routine. Domestic interiors such as living rooms and bathrooms become stage sets for unsettling dramas.
The protagonists of these vignettes reveal themselves through mirrors, doors and stairwells. Fireplaces serve as backdrop infernos, showers and bathtubs as sanctuaries. The environments seem familiar and lived in, but the details of the inhabitants lives’ remain mysterious.
Men and women are clothed and unclothed. What is public and what is private is called into question. McMurray’s subtle and delicate characterizations suggest not only states of being, but also different states of mind.
Evoking life’s daily routines and rituals, McMurray will depict the same scenario more than once, culminating in a series of three paintings that have their own interrelated narrative. Some of these series move beyond domestic scenes and evoke dreams or fantasies.
In the paintings Scenario 11200901, 11210901 and 11220901, McMurray presents three women of varying age and appearance, each leaning over a recumbent man with a grid of city lights fading into the distance. Protector or adversary, she both consoles and commands.
Reenactment: October 29, 1985, features two figures in a living room engaged in conversation. A man in a tuxedo sits on a velvet sofa across from a woman dressed in black. Wine glasses are raised. A point is being made. An empty gift box lies between them and a fire keeps burning.
This is Martin McMurray’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. He has had other solo exhibitions at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects and Galerie Nouvelle Images, The Hague, Netherlands. His work was included in the 2006 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport, and he is a recipient of a 2009 Eureka Fellowship from the Fleishhacker Foundation. McMurray lives and works in Berkeley, California.