Press Releases



Painter Joanna Murphy shows at Julie Heller Gallery

July 16 - 22, 2004 

  Joanna Murphy paints a world of spectacular seascapes, golden dunes, atmospheric landscapes, lit and shadowed forests, city vistas along the East River near her home in downtown Manhattan. She paints the architectural forms within rural, urban and coastal environments as they experience the effects of a changing world. But it is in the white light of the Cape where she has found enduring inspiration and the camaraderie of the community of painters over the length of her career. Next week Murphy will exhibit a group of recent paintings at Julie Heller Gallery in Provincetown.

 When she finished her studies at The Swain School of Art and Design, Murphy undertook her own art journey, traveling from painting to painting across Europe.

 She intended to settle in Paris, but after awhile, she realized that what had always inspired her was American, the land, the music, the people, the culture, and she came home again. Later, in Provincetown, Murphy was introduced to the theories of Henry Henshe and the interpretation of notes of color as revealed in varying light. Light and color are the essential elements of Murphy’s language.

 Murphy has always been a landscape painter, from her earliest days at Swain. Over the ensuing years, she has brought to the plein-air tradition an increasingly expressionist brushwork and nearly abstract distillation in composition, ordering horizon, sky and land to their essential forms, creating paintings of dynamic color and rhythmic structure. The core of her work is not merely a depiction of nature, nor the human adaptations of nature; rather, it is the painter’s relationship with nature manifested in the process of painting. 

 Each painting is a kind of conversation with the world the painter experiences, a conversation shaped by the painter’s pleasure in the sensuality of paint and color, in the dazzle of reflection on water, the deep shadows of a weathered facade, an orange sky, and in the transitory movement of light – a linear passage that is temporary and constant.

 Sometimes the viewer sees recognizable places, sometimes only colors and textures reminiscent of landscape motifs, a fleeting encounter with twilight, dusk, or dawn. This painter works with a startling naturalism that we trust. These are images that live on, beyond their origin, beyond their making, in the richness of their visual texture and emotional truth.

 Joanna Murphy has exhibited in San Francisco; in Newport, RI; in Provincetown at the Wolfarth Gallery, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, and Julie Heller Gallery; and in New York at Bread and Roses Gallery.  In 2004 she was awarded a grant from the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation.


For further details and photographs, Please call Julie Heller Gallery at 508-487-2169.

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