Paul Calendrillo New York Gallery
547 W 27th St, Suite 600, New York
11 am - 6 pm
Oct 04-Oct 27
Courtney Murphy may not be the first fine artist in history to paint a woman applying makeup or admiring herself in a mirror in preparation for an anxious evening ahead. She shares that notoriety with Henri Toulouse-Lautrec in his, Woman at Her Toilette, and Peter Paul Rubens in, Madame Isis’ Toilette. However, unlike those two masters whose women are fixed on their own image, who block out the outside world, who are submerged in either their own beauty or the process of applying makeup itself, Murphy’s contemporary women simultaneously divide their thoughts between their egos and the events of the evening, always thinking of how what they do in the next few minutes will affect what will take place in the next few hours.
Rendezvous is Courtney’s second solo exhibition with our gallery. The current collection retains her distinctive color vocabulary but with less movement. As she states, “These are more still and more quiet than some of my previous work. Im exploring a sense of drama, mystery and anticipation in the moments before a night out.” In what I believe is a brilliant oil entitled, Rouge, the folds of colorful fabric are gone leaving her signature red lipstick to carry the viewer from the optimism in the pale, tranquil face of a beautiful woman to the veiled reflection in a mirror. Two divergent outcomes are merged in one simple action. Even more interesting is from where Murphy brings in light. It does not enter from the mirror but from a source behind the images to the lower right—from the viewer, suggesting that only the evening’s events and the people she will meet will shed light on the evening’s outcome.
As in her first exhibition with us entitled, Interludes, her subjects evoke sensations of strength to vulnerability. They represent the ideal of femininity, sensuality and elegant drama leading the viewer to a hint of possibilities in a glimpsed moment in time, yet allowing the viewer to complete each story.