Martin Murphy: Modern Trance

Nov. 19, 2011 - Feb. 3, 2012

Opening reception Nov. 19, 2011, 6 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Modern Trance, 2011, Installation shot


Dorsch Gallery is pleased to present Martin Murphy's solo exhibition, Modern Trance.

Murphy plays with narrative packaging as a material to be worked, like stone or paint. In LA Dreamer (2011) Murphy projects a churning pool of appropriated footage from commercials and other popular media onto a bottle of Diet Coke. The barrage of signifiers overwhelms the viewers; the structure of presentation inverts the market-driven function of the appropriated material. Murphy states, "It's like using popular media to investigate the process of its own attraction. I also think the structural setups put the new work in a different place; they're projected on freestanding screens, which establish spatial relationships between the videos and sculptures, and together they may read as a sequential statement or timeline."

Many of the works in the exhibition use spatial elements to push the boundaries of video or temporal effects to challenge the usual parameters of sculpture. For LA Dreamer Murphy projects the moving image onto a small hand-made screen from behind. The screen is set on the floor in space, like a sculpture. Similarly, for Still Life (deep freeze), blue light and a layer of snow-like ice suggest the passage of time, at once still because it is frozen and frozen (cold) because it is still. The blue light is a cinematic effect that heightens the impression of time passing - narrative.

Martin Murphy received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, and his MFA from Hunter College. His work has been exhibited internationally in venues such as the Garage Projects (Venice, Italy), The Fabric Workshop and Museum (Philadelphia, PA), the de La Cruz Collection (Miami, FL), Steinek Gallery (Vienna), Art In General (New York, NY), "The Last Day of Magic" at the 53rd Venice Biennial (Detournement, Venice, Italy), and the HBC Center (Berlin, Germany). His solo exhibition Don't Forget to Crash was at Dorsch Gallery in March 2010. His work has been reviewed and featured in L'Uomo Vogue, Flash Art and Art & Film: Curated By Vienna | Moderne Kunst Nurnberg. Dorsch Gallery has represented his work since 2008. Martin Murphy lives and works in New York, NY.


Full press release

Modern Trance brochure side-A

Modern Trance brochure side-B (poster)








Martin Murphy

Horror Painting, 2011, video projection, audio, MDF, 84 x 48 x 10 inches


Martin Murphy

Modern Trance, 2011, Installation shot
(left) Water Stone, 2011, (right) God View, 2011


Martin Murphy

Artist Studio, 2011, archive print, diasec mounted, 22 x 30 inches


Martin Murphy

LA Dreamer, 2011, video projection, audio, aluminum, polypropylene, 40 x 22 x 1.5 inches


Martin Murphy

Still Life V (deep freeze), 2011, resin, phosphorescent pigment, UV light, 22 x 16 x 22 inches


Martin Murphy

Forecaster, 2011, video projection, audio, resin, aluminum, polypropylene, 26 x 19 x 18