Art-In-Buildings at 1000M: Ben Murray

12 June 2018

Dear Cultural Connoisseurs, today we’re back with the second installment of Art-In-Buildings at 1000M. If you missed our first post, we’re covering the world-class collection of contemporary art currently on display at the award-winning 1000M Sales Gallery. For this second installment, we will be discussing Ben Murray and his piece, Hall (2015), part of his series of paintings In Life Review, which was exhibited at Monique Meloche Gallery in 2017. Hall is currently installed in Conference Room #2 of the 1000M Sales Gallery.

Hall, 2015, ink wash on paper, 67 x 60 inches.
Hall, 2015, ink wash on paper, 67 x 60 inches.

Representing Time and Memory

Ben Murray, born 1977, hails from Merrillville, Indiana and currently resides and works in the Miller Beach/ Gary area, a short drive from Chicago. Where Murray comes from is incredibly important to his practice, since memories — the people, experiences and objects from his past — function as the source for many of his paintings. Memories however, are not static, nor do they necessarily form clear optical images. With Hall and much of the artist’s other work, one would be hard pressed to identify visual signifiers for what Murray sees in his head. And yet, with the help of descriptive titles and by spending time with his paintings, one begins to sense the pathos behind the loaded brush strokes, coalescing around images that are unified within a single canvas. If you have the privilege of seeing his complete series of paintings, the works even begin speaking to each other, slowly building a narrative that is atmospheric and nonlinear.

Installation view from “The Armory Show” alongside Carol Jackson, with Monique Meloche Gallery.
Installation view from “The Armory Show” alongside Carol Jackson, with Monique Meloche Gallery.

 

Murray’s paintings have a peculiar relationship to time. On the one hand, they serve as a record of time past: each finished work being the composite of different gestures and marks laid over the course of a predetermined amount of time. In viewing the work, we are forced to slow down in order to trace the history of time spent, as the abstract marks begin to communicate representationally. With Hall, the stretches of ink wash begin to make sense as a flattened hallway…Just as one would move in a line from one end of a hallway to the other, so too do Murray’s marks move in a line from a starting point near the top of the canvas, stretching down to the bottom. The overlaying of rectangular pigment mirrors the repetitive passing through a hallway. But just as no two people would move through a hallway in the same fashion, so too do Murray’s repeated gestures contradict themselves in being irregular and unique. Once you begin to view Hall in this way, the interplay between painted gesture and negative space forms its own kind of space, unlike the way most people are accustomed to viewing their surroundings.

The award-winning 1000M Sales Gallery located at 1006 S. Michigan Ave.
The award-winning 1000M Sales Gallery located at 1006 S. Michigan Ave.

If you’d like to see Hall, please contact the Sales Gallery to schedule an appointment. The 1000M Sales Gallery, located at 1006 S. Michigan Ave is available by phone at 312-313-7841 or by emailing info@1000southmichigan.com.