Jacqueline Mabey

Students and Faculty are invited to join us for a discussion of MA candidate in Critical and Curatorial Studies Jacqueline Mabey’s exhibition the strange space that will keep us together, a survey of the work of Montreal-based painter Wil Murray.

Grant Arnold has worked at the Vancouver Art Gallery since 1992. The first Audain Curator of British Columbia Art, he has organized exhibitions such as Mark Lewis: Modern Time, Fred Herzog: Vancouver Photographs, and Real Pictures: Photographs from the Collection of Claudia Beck and Andrew Gruft.

The strange space that will keep us together consists of a selection of works made after the July 2003 destruction by fire of Murray’s West Pender Street studio space, the historic Pender Auditorium, to the present day. 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 short-listed 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.