David Zwirner presents abstract paintings by Jesse Murry, part of a series of exhibitions dedicated to artists who died during the HIV/AIDS crisis
MARKING THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publish its first report on what would become AIDS, David Zwirner presents more life, a special series devoted to artists who died of HIV/AIDS-related illnesses during the first two decades of the epidemic.
Since June, the gallery has organized exhibitions by Jesse Murry, Marlon Riggs, Derek Jarman, Mark Morrisroe, Frank Moore, Ching Ho Cheng and the Silence=Death collective, which continue this fall.
The current show focuses on people born in North Carolina jesse murry (1948–1993). A painter and poet, Murry produced abstract paintings imbued with both drama and beauty, in which “the horizon was both its central image and its guiding ideal, as the moment when the near and the far, the inside and outside, self and other could be negotiated and reconciled.”
Painter and poet, Jesse Murry produced lyrical abstract paintings in which “the horizon was both his central image and guiding ideal, as the moment when near and far, inner and outer, self and the other could be negotiated and reconciled”.
At Sarah Lawrence College, Murry studied art and philosophy and after graduating in 1976 he moved to New York. During these early years he published essays on artists, was the guest curator of the exhibition “Currents: Reverend Howard Finster” at the New Museum, and taught art history and Hobart and William Smith colleges for two years, before enrolling as a graduate student at Yale University at age 36. Later he had his first solo exhibition in New York at the Sharpe Gallery (1987).
Seven paintings by Murry are on display at David Zwirner until October 23. The paintings were made between 1987 and 1992, during the last five years of the artist’s life as he dealt with his mortality.
“Jesse Murry: On the Rise” is co-curated by artist Lisa Yuskavage, who is represented by David Zwirner and has a simultaneous show at the gallery, and writer/curator Jarrett Earnest. Yuskavage attended Yale with Murry, where they both received their MFAs in 1986.
“I met Jesse during my interview at Yale. … He was the most erudite person I have ever met,” Yuskavage wrote in a memorial tribute to Murry. published in Art in Americaa in 2011. “He would come to my studio, and what he said about my work stays with me to this day.”
In a 1984 statement about his own work, Murry said, “If there is a general theme or idea concerning my work, beyond the enjoyment of color or form, it is to create a space in which the viewer can be as creative in watching as I am when I paint. There is plenty of room for the viewer to actively participate in their imagination, but initially they are gripped by color and its magical ability to shape a world. CT
IMAGES: Above, Installation view of ‘Jesse Murray: Rising’, David Zwirner, 533 West 19th Street, New York, NY (September 17-October 23, 2021); Above left, Jesse Murry holding one of John Constable’s brushes, 1991. | Photo by Richard Constable. | Courtesy of David Zwirner
“Jesse Murray: Rising” is on view at David Zwirner, 533 West 19th Street, New York, NY, Sept. 17-Oct. 23, 2021
JESSE MURRY, “Deluge—After Turner,” circa 1990-1991 (oil and wax on linen, 30 3/4 x 31 inches / 78.1 x 78.7 cm). | © The Estate of Jesse Murry. Courtesy The Estate of Jesse Murry and Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York
Installation view of ‘Jesse Murray: Rising’, David Zwirner, 533 West 19th Street, New York, NY (September 17-October 23, 2021). | Courtesy of David Zwirner
JESSE MURRY, “Rising”, 1992 (oil and beeswax on canvas, 20 x 20 inches / 50.8 x 50.8 cm). | © The Estate of Jesse Murry. Courtesy The Estate of Jesse Murry and Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York
JESSE MURRY, “Untitled”, 1991 (oil and wax on canvas, 48 1/2 x 47 3/4 inches / 123.2 x 121.3 cm). | © The Estate of Jesse Murry. Courtesy The Estate of Jesse Murry and Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York
READ MORE In 2019, the exhibition “Jesse Murry: Radical Loneliness” was exhibited at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York
“Painting is Supreme Fiction: Writings of Jesse Murry, 1980-1993” is a new publication dedicated to the writings of artist Jesse Murry. Jarrett Earnest edited the volume and wrote the introduction. Hilton Als wrote the foreword. Content includes Murry’s critical writing and poetry, color plates of 16 paintings, and reproduced pages from two of his manuscript notebooks.
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