Murphy’s figures melt into many amorphous shapes, implying a combination of bodies and duality of form, both corporeal and spiritual. As her paintings bounce between abstraction and figuration, the presence of bodies, and the artist’s own body is omnipresent. Fusing swoops of gestural brushwork with finger-painted details, Murphy’s transformative physical interaction with paint also alters our emotional perception through what is made visible, and she describes this close-quarters process as a ‘scuffle’. Murphy’s instinctive actions and feelings, especially those that are vague or irrational, lead to decisions about form, composition, colour, and subject at each stage she makes her artwork. Paintings allow for contradictions to coexist in the same place and Murphy’s methodology embraces conflicting sensibilities of disobedience and care. Allowing for alternating individual responses based on mood and situation, her playful approach to decision-making is in keeping with Francis Picabia’s jolly aphorism, “Our heads are round so our thoughts can change direction”. Paintings that may, at first, appear spontaneous or whimsical are often constituted from a sequence of assertive and controlled conclusions, and a wealth of knowledge, that results in the vast spectrum of idiosyncratic aesthetic attributes that characterise Aileen Murphy’s practice.
Extracted from exhibition text for Panting, TBG&+S, 2019
Aileen Murphy (b.1984, Sligo) is an Irish painter based in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include PANTING, Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin (2019), Bounty (with Diana Copperwhite), Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin (2018), Naked Cheerleaders in my Chest, Deborah Schamoni, Munich (2017). Recent group exhibitions include THE SAME AS EVER BUT MORE SO, curated by Miriam Bettin, Braunsfelder, Cologne (2018), And Creatures Dream... A new Language, The Wexford Arts Centre (2017), Opals, curated by Vincent Honoré, Galleri Opdahl, Stavanger (2016).
She is a co founding member of the Dublin based art collective Soft Blonde Moustache. Upcoming show's include a solo exhibition at Amanda Wilkinson Gallery, London Murphy studied at NCAD, Dublin, and Staedelschule Art Academy, Frankfurt am main.