Please join us on Saturday, June 17 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Wagner College Gallery for a reception opening a new exhibition of work by Staten Island-based artist Bill Murphy, “99 Drawings.” The exhibition will run from June 12 through August 23. The gallery is located in the Union Building on the Wagner campus, 631 Howard Ave., Staten Island. Both the reception and the exhibition are free and open to the public.
“This will be an exhibition I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Murphy said. “I will be showing what are generally considered ‘on location’ or working drawings, drawings that were often made to be used in a more involved or finished drawing, print, or painting — though some of them were simply observations made at the moment, with no grander ideas in mind.
“Most of these drawings were made from life, on location — from the front seat of my Buick 6, for example, or the top of the World Trade center, or from a vantage point of sitting on a milk crate at the waters edge of the Mississippi River.
“These drawings are very near and dear to me,” Murphy added, “and often hold the seed of the more finished ‘art’ experience that might follow. Most commercial galleries, and even museums, have no interest in displaying these types of work, seeing them as of minor and ‘non-commercial’ stature, but I have found this kind of work to be of interest to myself and other artists, as well as the more savvy viewer, as they really tell the full story unbleached and unsanitized, warts and all. Like Salvador Dali said, ‘Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.’ ”
The subjects of these drawings span the genres, from portrait and figure studies to landscape and still life. Most are small in size, ranging from 8 x 10 to 18 x 24 inches. Mediums include pencil, charcoal and ink. Dates of completion span from 1973 to the present. In addition to these works, Murphy will be including a few recent large drawings, created between 2014 and 2017.
Bill Murphy has been teaching drawing at Wagner College since 1984, and currently holds the rank of professor. More information can be found at his website, aburninglight.com.
The Wagner Gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours on Thursday until 9 p.m.
For more information, please call 917-678-2542.