the strange space that will keep us together is a survey exhibition of emerging, Montreal-based painter Wil Murray. The exhibition consists of a selection of works made after the July 2003 destruction by fire of his West Pender Street studio space, the historic Pender Auditorium, to the present day. In his work, Murray picks up the dropped threads of abstract modern painting, playfully subverting its dogma, while seriously re-engaging its central themes.
Murray’s work explores the horrors of banal choices. In every choice, there is an element of madness. The most reasoned decision is still a leap of faith into an unknowable future–a leap which is never made alone, as its consequences ripple out. Paint is poured onto a support, slowly built up layer by layer, sections are cut out and tacked onto other works. Marks are made and effaced, at some points visible, at others concealed. A story is told, but the tale is not straightforward. Against mastery, against autonomy, Murray’s process is suggestive of the tension between the terror of the contingency of identity and the spaces caused by incommensurable differences.
Wil Murray was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. He attended the Alberta College of Art + Design for two years before moving to Vancouver to open a studio. Murray was shortlisted for the RBC Painting Competition (2005) and was included in the Magenta Foundation’s Carte Blanche Vol. 2: Painting (2007). Represented by the Patrick Mikhail Gallery, Murray’s work is included in collections in Canada and the United States.
This exhibition is curated by Jacqueline Mabey, a candidate to the Masters Degree in Critical and Curatorial Studies at The University of British Columbia.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Alvin Balkind Fund for Student Curatorial Initiatives, the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, and the Faculty of Arts at The University of British Columbia, STRESSLIMITDESIGN, the Program in Canadian Studies at The University of British Columbia, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Lotus Hotel Limited and the UBC Alma Mater Society.