More Life - Jesse Murry | David Zwirner

Jesse Murry

Curated by Lisa Yuskavage and Jarrett Earnest, Jesse Murry: Rising will open on September 14, 2021 at the gallery’s 533 West 19th Street location in New York.

The canvases of artist and poet Jesse Murry (1948–1993) evidence a painter and thinker deeply engaged with the Romantic tradition—from painters J. M. W. Turner, John Constable, and Hans Hofmann to writers like Wallace Stevens. Dynamic movement, diffuse light, and swirling color define Murry’s poetic and intimate compositions that oscillate between recognizable landscapes and pure abstraction. Experiments in oil and beeswax, and watercolor, Murry’s provocative body of work is not an escapist transcendent repudiation of the material world, but rather a necessary reaffirmation of the self. In the artist’s own words, “In an age when desire may find its only possible fulfillment in death and the soul is held captive by nihilism and despair perhaps the only weapon to combat this is beauty—so landscape becomes for me more than a place to dwell but a suitable space for dreams—where the viewer in the act of looking becomes as creative as I am in the act of making.” The landscapes thus become vehicles for sublime imaginative experiences inescapably entwined with the context in which they were made and are viewed.

Jesse Murry: Rising—a title borrowed from one of the artist’s last paintings which will be on view in the exhibition. The presentation will feature audio and video recordings of Murry, as well as a selection of his writings and his most prized poetry and philosophy books. Taken as a whole, the exhibition will attest to the vibrantly creative and intellectual artist whose career was cut short as it was only just beginning.

.A detail from a photo of Jesse Murry in the studio of John Constable, 1991. Photo by Richard Constable.

Jesse Murry, 1991 (detail). Photo by Richard Constable

Jesse Murry, 1991 (detail). Photo by Richard Constable

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