Virtual Art Reception - Messy Geometry
January 13, 2021
Location - Webinar
Time - 4PM-5PM
This exhibit features the recent works of Cyrille Conan and Matt Murphy. Two artists working in the Boston area. In his essay The Tool and The Object, Lewis Mumford proposes that “Orpheus not Prometheus was man’s first teacher”. In emphasizing the poles between Art and Technics, the Symbol and the Tool he equalizes the importance of both. Both artists in this show understand this. They work within abstract systems; grids, repeating forms and geometric shapes. But they insist on keeping these systems open by allowing intuition or metaphor to steer the direction of their efforts. It is the hope of each artist that the larger meanings of their labor be among the poetry of Orpheus born of the fire of Prometheus.
Matt Murphy is a painter living and working in Boston. He has shown at Mass Art, Laconia Gallery, Sugar Gallery at University of Arkansas, New Bedford Museum of Art and Atlantic Warf Gallery. He studied Painting at Mass College of Art and University of Washington in Seattle. In 2018 he was a Resident Artist at the Siena Art Institute in Italy.
Matt's work is centered in the practice of painting but at times extends beyond the traditional picture plane. His work often becomes sculptural however, he resists it being defined as such, due to its theoretical framework and relation to a paintings history he considers his works paintings. His focus of interest is in the possibilities of painting as they pertain to materiality and illusion, poetry and the imagination. "What lies between reality and experience is the focus of my work. This has led me to make orchestrations of shaped canvases and panels while using color to influence their illusionistic space as I search for their connections to a larger narrative".
His art seeks to draw out kinesthetic relationships between shapes and the space they inhabit. The paintings attempt to evoke the sensation of liminal states, waking states, and fantasies. The shapes in his paintings are under the influence of each other. They change the nature of the space between them. If one shape changes, the whole gesture changes. These relationships he says can be described as "mathematical or musical". The sum of the parts, both "poetic and transportive". The color in his paintings is not referential, but straddles the real and imaginary with the assumption that color is material and exists in this world but also seeks to expose another-worldliness. The shapes carry with them an origin in the observable world. Wings, sails, bricks, angels, fighters, satellites, clutter all refusing at times to be one or the other. They insist on “and” rather than “or”.
Cyrille Conan was born in 1973 and grew up in Queens, NY to French immigrants. He is first generation American and is bilingual. He has dual-citizenship and identifies both as French and American. This duality is apparent in his artwork. The graphic nature and grit of the work derives from growing up in NYC in the 70s & 80s and the love of nature and natural forms distilled in him from Celtic/Breton culture have transformed into a minimal, organic, geometrical abstraction.
Cyrille has been developing a vocabulary of various mark making, collage and textures to allow for the paintings to generate as honestly and intuitively as possible. Each layer informs and dictates the final composition until he finds a visual balance of form, color and repetition.
He considers his improvisational process to be a response to the intersection of two modern phenomena: the destruction of nature, and the growth of technology. Having a regular studio practice keeps him connected to nature and is an act of defiance against our current condition.
Cyrille graduated with a BFA in Painting from the Hartford Art School before planting his roots in Boston in 1998.
While his primary practice is still painting, he works in a variety of mediums and scales. He’s produced site-specific installations and murals in numerous states as well as local galleries and public spaces in Boston, including The Cyclorama, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Boston City Hall. He is currently working as a Preparator for the Design Department at the MFA, Boston.