Art Spiel Photo Story
Installation view, Jim Condron (front), Ilse Sorensen Murdock (back)
At first glance, Jim Condron’s whimsical sculptures and Sørensen Murdock’s landscape paintings are an unexpected match for a two-person exhibition. Yet, in Toss, the current show at Platform Project Space, artist and curator Elizabeth Hazan made it into an engaging duet. The show runs the gamut from landscape paintings on canvas to paintings and sculptures made of scavenged materials, but regardless of the used media, both artists prioritize color, texture, and composition.
In Jim Condron’s sculpture—fur, striped socks, household utensils, yarn, or wood—interconnect into a visceral and playful presence with a strong surreal undercurrent and painterly sensibility. These mundane materials embody a lived history. Their tactile and vivid presence prompt us to imagine stories of their past, while at the same time re-contextualizing them in relation to each other—what is their symbolic meaning in terms of color, form, and narrative? Each of these intimate scale hybrid structures presents distinct yet open-ended characteristics: some may read as comical characters with biomorphic entities, some as geological layers, and others as funny shrines to consumer goods. Together, they become like an ensemble of players in an open-ended allegory in which we are all striving to find meaning within an ephemeral existence.
Ilse Sørensen Murdock presents two bodies of work: larger scale forest landscapes made with nuanced, rhythmic, and gestural marks on canvas, as well as smaller scale paintings made with oil on wood and framed with clusters of colorful bottle caps. In her large plein air paintings she works on an un-stretched canvas directly on the ground, navigating her way across the surface below as she paints from observation. Her practice of collecting everyday plastic caps and mounting them to paintings is another facet of her interest in environmental concerns.
The visual dialogue between Condron’s sculptures and Murdock’s paintings is rewarding—a bright yellow that bounces from sculpture to painting, a furry texture that echoes fuzzy brush strokes, the way that fragments coalesce into three and two dimensional forms—make this show a delightful experience, like walking into a painting with unpredictable elements that grow on you.
Jim Condron earned his MFA at the Hofffberger School of Painting of the Maryland Institute College of Art, and a BA in Art History and English from Colby College. He also studied at the New York Studio School. Condron is a recipient of a Pollock Krasner Foundation grant, an Adolf and Esther Gottlieb Foundation grant. He is an Edward F. Albee Foundation fellow and has been awarded a number of other residencies.
Ilse Sørensen Murdock studied painting at the New York Studio School and philosophy and religious studies at New York University before earning a BFA from Parsons School of Design, 2000, and MFA from Rutgers University at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, 2009. She was resident of the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in 2012. Murdock received the 2019 Cultural Award Grant from the American Scandinavian Society, concluding in an exhibition at the Trygve Lie Gallery, New York, 2020 and was included in a survey of painting Here and Now at the Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster, New Jersey, 2020. She currently produces works in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.