Canada is pleased to present Industrial Incandescent, Luke Murphy’s fifth solo exhibition with the gallery. Murphy’s dazzling light sculptures are comprised of LED panels, found objects and constructed armatures. Murphy uses the panels to display abstract effects utilizing nearly endless color and tempo variations, foregrounding the furtive beauty hidden in mass-produced displays.
Murphy embeds material meaning inside the works by conflating different epochs of technology. In Line through Ladder (Fire Exchange) he presents artifacts from three different centuries: a section of a 19th century wooden beam, a ladder from the 20th century, and contemporary LED panels with a repurposed video conference computer. The work becomes a meditation on labor, tools, utility, and technology through time with disparate parts bound together by digital fire. Murphy uses the malleability of the LED panels to buttress or resist the architecture of the gallery. Open Circuit features a languid blue scroll that follows an arc. In contrast, Corner Beams employs a colorful and dynamic pattern with an armature that leans against or presses out of a corner. Industrial Incandescent pulses with color and movement. Each piece can be seen individually or as a part of a forest of flickering light and color. The endless variations recall a walk in a city, commerce tugs continuously on our sleeves, beckoning attention. We can listen to the come-ons or simply enjoy the spectacle of the chorus of voices speaking all at once.
Murphy shares formal affinities with modernist painting, as well the work of minimalist sculptors Donald Judd and Dan Flavin. Like a painter with a palette covered with oil paint, Murphy uses computer code to deepen a blue or lighten a red. The ambition in Murphy’s project is to recreate the qualities of abstract painting and sculpture with the completely miraculous yet banal materials of coffee carts and 99 cent store advertising. Murphy gently moves us towards human warmth through plastic advertising panels, binary computer code, and his respect for labor and craft.
The works stake claims between nearly impossible poles, the ineffable and quotidian, the hand made and disembodied.
Luke Murphy (b.1963, Boston, MA) lives and works in New York, NY. His work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), Scottsdale, AZ; Canada, New York, NY; Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, IL; Parisian Laundry, Montreal, Quebec; and Postmasters, New York, NY, among others. His work is in the permanent collections of Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), Scottsdale, AZ and the Kadist Foundation, San Francisco, CA. He received his BS from the University of Toronto in 1985; BFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1988; and MFA from State University of New York at Purchase in 1991.