American Art Collector - - Contents - DANIEL J. KEYS & TYLER MUR­PHY

Build­ing Bridges

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

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