DANIEL J. KEYS & TYLER MURPHY
When working through potential titles for a two-man show with Daniel J. Keys, artist and Montana Gallery owner Tyler Murphy very quickly settled on Bridges because it just clicked in all the right places, but mostly as a method of transition from one place, or time, to another.
Keys, the gallery’s most well-known painter, helped bridge the gap between Montana Gallery and the rest of the art world. And the gallery helped create throughways for Keys in Montana and its natural splendor. There were bridges in the gallery’s current history, which was propelling over some of the early chasms that come with the gallery business, and bridges in some of the titles of the works. The title also worked because Keys and Murphy liked to see how pieces progressed, so they both agreed to create some smaller studies and then present themselves alongside the
finals works they inspired.
“This idea of a bridge worked on so many levels, most of all just how we wanted to show a small painting alongside a larger one. One of my favorite works is John Singer Sargent’s Fishing for Oysters at Cancale, and he created dozens of works to get to the final piece. I loved that idea of seeing them all together,” Murphy says. “It also just worked because Daniel and I have created bridges for each other.”
Murphy will be offering Bridging Worlds, which shows a foreground bathed in evening shadow while a distant background is illuminated by a sunset’s last kiss of light. He will also be presenting several works from Glacier National Park, including Overtaken.
“That one I did in Yellowstone around these bacterial pools. I did plein air study right there on the spot, and I just really liked the way the it came together,” he adds.
Keys will be showing a variety of his magnificent floral works, for which he is well known, and also some of his new figurative work, an area he is still experimenting in. “For Curious Nature, these are two children who appeared in my last big figurative painting. I wanted to paint them again but a little less formal this time,” Keys says. In another figurative work, Keys paints John, a man with a large gray beard and a completely bald head.
Returning to the idea of the bridge, Keys says he’s honored to be able to show with Murphy in Montana, especially since they are both part of a great tradition of realism painting. “I see the bridge as a connection from former generations to newer ones. People like Richard Schmid or David Leffel, if they hadn’t carried their art to us, we wouldn’t have had it and now we—artists like Tyler and I and everyone else who was inspired by their work—can carry it on even further,” Keys says. “Those connections are important because they link the generations together.”
4Daniel J. Keys, Curious Nature, oil on linen, 30 x 30"4