Walter Tandy Murch: The Spirit of Things, installation view, 2010, SFU Gallery. Photo: Blaine Campbell. 

Walter Tandy Murch: The Spirit of Things

September 11 – October 30, 2010
SFU Gallery

This exhibition showcases the work of an artist who is regarded by some as Canada’s greatest still life painter. Walter Murch (1907 – 1967) painted fragments of modernity. It was as if he anticipated the fragmentation of the contemporary world in vanitas tableaux that linked the newly plasticized present of the 1950s and 60s with the past world of imagined platonic, idealized forms. Yet, in a century obsessed with the idea of “the new,” Murch also painted twentieth-century materiality as if through Vermeer’s eyes.

This long-overdue exhibition is the first Canadian show of Murch’s work ever held west of Ontario. Murch grew up in Toronto, attended the Ontario College of Art and went to New York City for a ‘short visit’ in 1927. From the 1940s until his death he showed with the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York (along with Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman, et al), and held teaching posts at several American universities, where his teaching was widely admired. The works in the exhibition are on loan from private collections and the artist’s estate. Curated by Ihor Holubizky and Bill Jeffries. Circulated by the Robert McLaughlin Gallery.


Walter Scott Murch: Baraka
Friday, September 10, 2010, 8pm
Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 W. Hastings Street, Vancouver

Opening Reception
Saturday, September 11, 2010, 3–5pm
Curators’ short talks will start at 3:30–4pm
SFU Gallery, Academic Quadrangle 3004, Burnaby campus

Talk: Bill Jeffries: A Canadian in New York – Walter Tandy Murch Conquers the Big Apple
Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 7pm
SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Room 7000

Lunchtime Tours of the Exhibition
Tuesday, September 15, 12:05pm and 12:35pm
Thursday, September 16, 12:05pm and 12:35pm