Jeff Bailey Gallery / Hudson is pleased to present Martin McMurray, The Case for Dream Insurance, an exhibition of new faux books.
McMurray’s books have the appearance, weight and feel of real books (although they do not open). Their uncanny titles seem vaguely familiar, or laughably plausible.
The author’s portrait is featured prominently on each book’s back cover. The authors are all male, and more or less middle aged. Their faces reveal a depth of experience, and longing. Their clothing and hairstyles seem drawn from another time and place, as do the colors of the books’ front covers and the titles’ fonts.
However, these are not exercises in nostalgia. Rather, McMurray uses the familiarity of a well-worn book and its standard format as a way to explore a wide range of current and historical events, personal relationships and emotional states. Often, their various subjects are a kind of hedge against one another: the conundrum of Ugly Data is countered by The Case for Dream Insurance.
As physical objects, McMurray’s books are paintings as much as they are sculptures. As vessels for ideas, they invite the viewer to ponder suggested story lines and themes. In this way, they raise as many questions as they purport to answer.
This is McMurray’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. He has had other solo exhibitions at Gallery 16, San Francisco; Susanne Vielmetter Projects, Los Angeles and Galerie Nouvelle Images, The Hague, Netherlands and other venues. His work was recently featured in The Body Metonymic, at Oakland University Art Gallery, Rochester, Michigan and was included in the California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art (2006). He is a recipient of a Eureka Fellowship from the Fleishhacker Foundation (2009).