If This - Then That

Chad P. Murray
A Snake, 2014, oil on canvas, 35.5" x 35.5"

Oct 30 - Nov 29, 2014

Opening Reception: Thursday, October 30, 2014

Robert Lynds Gallery is pleased to present a new body of work by Chad Patrick Murray entitled "If This - Then That".  

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that images tell us the truth, that the things we see represented before our eyes have a direct relationship to reality. We don’t have to follow this path of logic very far to quickly arrive at the dissolution of our own permissive premise.

At one time painting performed a very specific cultural task – it was our visual recorder. We employed paint and canvas, and the artist who wielded them, to accurately describe our world. With the invention and popularization of the camera came an inaugural shift. Painting’s value demanded to be redefined and its relationship to reality became unbound as the photograph surpassed its documentarian ability. “Why paint?” became a question that required urgent address. Interestingly enough, that question still persists.

"If This - Then That" presents a new series of paintings which address the limitations of the medium and the intention of the artist’s production.  Murray’s paintings are synthesized narratives; pieced together imagery that are, at once, familiar and unfamiliar, brand-new and borrowed for an audience nurtured on movies, video games and the internet. The paintings are low-lit and moody, the imagery both absurd and absurdly banal, and, like film-stills and snap-shots, they only tell part of an intriguing story- implicating the viewer in the painted scene though only partially granting entry.

Narrative has the power to carry us away and when reading Murray’s work it is possible to forget oneself (momentarily or at length). His odd scenes, dramatic chiaroscuro, and pictorial expansiveness encourage forgetfulness, making it possible to ignore the painting’s flat surface, its static image, and its illusion - - because we enjoy the illusion! We no don’t care that the painting isn’t what it represents and that our affective response is triggered by, what is effectively, an artful fiction. Allowing just a glimpse of some imagined reality, without a precise reference point, Murray’s paintings ask for, and encourage, invention and estimation.

Murray, himself, is inventing - inventing a visual language of reference and imagination. Like artists before him, “Why paint?” is a question Murray poses to himself, and his paintings are his answers. His shady, suspicious and self-conscious images are indicative of his critical relationship to his craft.

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Gallery hours during exhibition:
Tuesday - Friday: 10am - 6pm
Saturday: 11am - 5pm
Sunday & Monday: By Appointment

1639 West 3rd Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6J 1K1