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About this Event
3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199
Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, in partnership with Converge 45: Social Forms: Art as Global Citizenship.
Nestled in the Reed library, always free and open to the public.
The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College and Converge 45 are proud to present Jesse Murry: Rising—the first west coast showing of the poetic landscapes of American painter, poet, and art critic Jesse Murry (1948–1993).
The exhibition is curated by renowned American painter Lisa Yuskavage, and 2022 Kennedy Scholar Jarrett Earnest, and is part of Social Forms: Art as Global Citizenship—Converge curator Christian Viveros-Faune’s city-wide initiative. The exhibition is organized for the Cooley by curator Stephanie Snyder and Converge artistic director Derek Franklin.
Jesse Murry: Rising presents a group of the artist’s oil paintings created between 1988 and 1993, the last five years of Murry’s life, when he was confronted with the reality of his impending mortality from AIDS-related illness. The works testify to Murry’s lifelong belief in the capacity of painting to hold the complexity of human meaning—at the meeting of a material fact and a location within the mind.
At the heart of Rising, dwells the intimate and devoted friendship between Jesse Murry and Lisa Yuskavage. The two painters met at the beginning of their tenure at the Yale School of Art, where they received their MFAs in 1986. In the midst of Yale’s notoriously difficult environment, they developed an artistic and intellectual fellowship, supporting and challenging one another as they discovered and grew their artistic vision.
At the Cooley, Jesse Murry’s paintings are accompanied by two special projects: a video remembrance directed by Lisa Yuskavage; and a letterpress edition of Murry’s 1993 poem Aphorisms, which he wrote in the hospital after losing the ability to speak. The typeset poem is garlanded by the diacritical marks and lines in Murry’s handwritten drafts. The edition is conceived, designed, and letterpress printed by Portland-based bookbinder and artist Rory Sparks.
A recently-published book of Murry’s complete writings—edited by exhibition
co-curator Jarrett Earnest—is available at the Cooley: Painting Is a Supreme Fiction: Writings by Jesse Murry, 1980–1993, edited, and with an introduction by Jarrett Earnest. Forward by Hilton Als. Soberscove Press, 2021.
The Cooley and Converge 45 gratefully acknowledge the lenders to the exhibition: Candida Smith, and the Jesse Murry Foundation, Peter Stevens, President.