Opening Reception: Christopher Murphy & John Tottenham
Murphy takes a Romantic approach to these depictions, with a particular interest in the dual qualities of terror and beauty that can be simultaneously experienced in our interactions with Nature–a kind of tragic joy. He searches for the aesthetic beauty in the violence of a conflagration, in the placidity of the aftermath of a flood, or in an explosive moment that is at once furious and tranquil. By rendering figures as diminutive in an expansive landscape, or from behind, or completely absent, an attempt is made to guide the viewer’s gaze, further inviting them into the environment directly or providing a mediating perspective through which to experience the sublime sweep of these places and events.
Murphy was born in 1977 and grew up in Irvine, CA. His earliest and most lasting influences are the painters Lucien Freud, Antonio López García, and Robert Bechtle. He earned his B.F.A. from Art Center College of Design in 2002, and was awarded the highest honor of graduation with distinction. His work has been reviewed by The Los Angeles Times, Artweek, and Art Papers. In 2012, he was selected as the New American Paintings Reader’s Choice Winner.
Lora Schlesinger Gallery is also proud to present Emptyscapes, John Tottenham’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Though mostly known as a writer and performer, John Tottenham has always maintained a practice centered on figurative art. An old-fashioned pencil and paper/paint and brushes man—an educated outsider and anti-expressionist—Tottenham has produced hundreds of delicately-wrought pen and ink drawings over the last five years. His latest exhibition, Emptyscapes, features a new selection of desolate vernacular and industrial scenes overlaid with darkly humorous text.
John Tottenham graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from City and Guilds Art School, London, UK. He has had a number of solo shows in Los Angeles: Las Cienegas Projects (2010), Rosamund Felsen Gallery (2012), and Maloney Fine Art (2014). He is the author of The Inertia Variations and Antiepithalamia & Other Poems of Regret and Resentment. His final collection of verse, The Hate Poems, will be published in 2018.
The exhibitions open with an artists’ reception, Saturday November 3rd from 4-6pm, and are on view through December 15, 2018.
Exhibition Dates: November 3 – December 15, 2018
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