Art of the Day: Upcoming Exhibition – FALL GALLERY NIGHT – STEVE MURPHY

               STEVE MURPHY              



September 10 – October 15, 2016



Fall Gallery Night

Saturday, September 10

12:00 – 9:00 pm 

All the Words Have Been Spoken, an exhibition of new abstract sculptures by Houston artist Steve Murphy, will be on display September 10 through October 15 at William Campbell Contemporary Art. An opening reception will be held on FWADA’s Fall Gallery Night, Saturday, September 10, from noon to 9:00 p.m. The show will feature Murphy’s austere yet richly voluminous three-dimensional forms that radiate energy and challenge visual perceptions.

All the Words Have Been Spoken will include fifteen new sculptures, both wall-mounted and freestanding-the largest of which measures seven feet tall. With an assortment of sumptuous patinaed surfaces coated in hand-burnished steel, lead, or gold, Murphy’s non-referential pieces evoke modernist, even futuristic, tones with bold geometry that flows effortlessly from angle to angle. The lustrous veneers are sometimes ambiguous, conjuring an organic softness that belies their industrial origins. Many of the pieces are positioned in such a way as to stimulate visual tension as well. They lean, rock, or teeter on the brink, offset just enough to activate

 their potential energy. This play on perspective and movement encourages viewers to consider the physicality of each form.

Murphy’s process is multifaceted and meticulous, and involves painstaking attention to detail at every turn. Lead and gold pieces begin with wood forms that Murphy has hand constructed, shaped, and sanded to create absolute, smooth surfaces. He then coats the pieces with sheets of metal, again smoothing and polishing the outer layers by hand to create the sleek exteriors. Steel pieces are fabricated at the outset, but also hand-manipulated by the artist at the end of the process. In each case, the result is a deep, luminescent finish that absorbs and reflects light to energize and shape the surrounding space.

Murphy’s sculptures invariably reference his earlier works, as they embody the ongoing evolution of his creative vision. “I am dealing with the classic elements of sculpture: form, volume, surface, and edge. This current, nine-year body of work is the result of a continued reductive investigation of those sculptural elements,” he says. As the show’s title suggests, the sculptures possess a certain minimalist quality-not in process or theory, but in terms of a focus on fundamental structure and conceptual objectivity. As such, they engage viewers on a universal level.

“I want the viewer to bring their personal references to the work and find their unique connection to the pieces,” Murphy remarks. “I want the pieces to allow the viewer to slowdown, have a quiet, meditative experience when contemplating these works, and hopefully walk away with a fresh way of seeing and experiencing the world around them.”


A highly acclaimed Texas artist, Steve Murphy has exhibited work widely around the state for well over three decades. Notable venues include the Arlington Museum of Art, the Art Museum of South Texas in Houston, the Austin Museum of Art, Dallas Visual Arts Center, Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Galveston Arts Center, the University of Texas at Arlington, the Texas Capitol Building, and galleries in Houston, Tucson, and Santa Fe, to name a few. The Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont will mount a solo exhibition of his work this coming December.Murphy’s public art creations have been realized throughout Houston, and his sculptures can be found in the collections of various institutions and corporations, including the City of Houston, the University of Houston, the University of Arizona, Encana Corporation in Plano, and Noble Energy and Sysco Corporation, both in Houston. His work has appeared in various publications as well, among them Art Lies, Sculpture magazine, the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Post, San Antonio Express, and Fort Worth’s Star-Telegram. He was recently featured in the books Contemporary Art of the Southwest (2014) and Texas Abstract: Modern/Contemporary (2014).

Steve Murphy earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Houston.


Founded in 1974 by William and Pam Campbell, William Campbell Contemporary Art exhibits high-quality contemporary art in a variety of media, including paintings, works on paper, mixed-media constructions, photography, prints, ceramics, and sculpture. By exhibiting nationally recognized artists, along with new and emerging talent, the gallery aims to nurture an awareness and appreciation of the exciting diversity found in contemporary art.



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