Gerald Murphy
American, 1888-1964
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Exhibitions
2018
Cult of the Machine,
de Young Museum
2016
This Is a Portrait If I Say So: Identity in American Art, 1912 to Today,
Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Attractive, stylish, wealthy, and considered charming company by the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, and Ernest Hemingway, Gerald Murphy and his wife Sara figured prominently in the Lost Generation of Americans in Paris during the Jazz Age. Murphy produced relatively few paintings, but his deconstructed renderings of everyday objects in flat, unmodulated colors are celebrated for their meticulous fusion of Cubist and Constructivist ideas. Shaped by his earlier aspirations to be an architect and influenced by Juan Gris, Georges Braque, and Fernand Léger, Murphy creating poster-like, graphic canvases with painstaking architectural precision. Watch (1925), perhaps his best-known work, depicts a timepiece splayed out in such a way as to evoke the inner workings of a factory.

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