Winston Wächter Fine Art, New York is delighted to announce Water Almanac, an exhibition of new work by Ethan Murrow. At once deadpan and fantastical, these exquisitely detailed, large-scale graphite drawings illustrate scenes of people irrationally attempting to regulate the natural world. The great lengths people have gone to gain knowledge and control over something so transitory fascinate Murrow.
Drawn from images collected from history, art history, and his own imagination, Murrow creates black and white photo-realist narratives that celebrate the human tendency to attempt anything, especially with unwavering confidence. Murrow has commented that “our humble status as minions under the clouds means we have always looked to the irrational and fantastical as much as the rational to help us understand what is coming.” Even as technology advances, weather predictions are often wrong, and the timeless, quixotic quest to predict or control the weather is as much rooted in superstition as in science.
In Deluge Estimator, an old man rows a boat outfitted with an absurd contraption. Rigged to the mast is both a picture frame that draws the viewer’s attention to the distant landscape as well as a telescope precisely hung at an unreachable position. Royal Evacuation Vehicle depicts a gentleman sitting atop a wooden, amphibious creature on wheels, leisurely reading. A storm looms in the distance, but he rests assured that this absurd vehicle will carry him to safety. These and all the works in Water Almanac examine the dualities of history and myth, reality and imagination, and wisdom and folly that are at the heart of all human endeavors.
Ethan Murrow was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts in 1975. He received his BA from Carleton College and his MFA in drawing, painting and sculpture from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Murrow received the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship in Drawing in 2016. He is on the Drawing and Painting faculty at The Tufts School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where he received both an Award for Teaching Excellence and a Faculty Enrichment Grant to support residency and work in Ireland in 2011. Selected current and past solo exhibitions include those at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA, Jacksonville MOCA, Jacksonville, FL, and The Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences, Charleston, WV. Selected group exhibitions include those at the Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI, the Children’s Museum of Art, New York, NY, the deCordova Biennial, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA, Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, Brattleboro, VT, and The International Print Center, New York, NY. In 2015, he published The Whale, a children’s book, with Vita Murrow. His film, Dust, was an Official Selection at the 46th Annual New York Film Festival in 2008. His work is held in many public collections including The Guggenheim Foundation, The University of New Mexico Art Museum, the Arkansas Museum of Art, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences.