STORM THARP MEGAN MURPHY
March 9 – May 1
350 Walnut Avenue
PDF PRESS RELEASE
Ochi Gallery is pleased to present the work of Megan Murphy and Storm Tharp. Both Northwest artists, Tharp based in Portland, OR and Murphy in Hailey, ID, the two artists’ works create a thoughtful conversation within the context of one another.Interested in 1970’s American cinema and Japanese portrait prints, Tharp’s characters come to life via a process involving water and mineral ink. The results are figures that feel at the same time transparent and solid, beautiful and bizarre. Though hardly traditional, with features fluid yet exact, Tharp’s portraits exude personality and narrative.Relating to his portraits and created during his TBA:10 residency, Tharp’s grid of colors was part of a larger installation called High House. The piece consists of several like- colored panels, distinguishable only by being in proximity to one another. Tharp’s more minimal works inform his portraits by exploring color identity and how it tells a story.Through a process equally unique as Tharp’s, Murphy creates quiet, contemplative works that despite representing actual locations, seem to transcend place and time. Working with glass, mirror and photography Murphy creates works that incorporate the viewer through their semi-reflective surfaces. In doing so, Murphy’s landscapes seem to ask us to consider our place within the grander scheme and our transient experiences with nature. We feel as though we should be quiet and meditative with these works. They are layered, like nature itself; simple and complex, mysterious and wise and memorably, hauntingly beautiful.
Long-time friends who have followed one another’s successful careers, Tharp being included in the 2010 Whitney Biennial, and Murphy winner of the Pacific Northwest Art Awards in 2011, the two artists are perhaps not an obvious two-person show. But both of them, through individually complex processes, explore questions of human nature, beauty and the capacity of art to capture a moment and idea.