On view in the Museum Shop Exhibition space of the Islip Art Museum is a selection of drawings by Eric Murphy. The exhibition, Automentum, consist of eight abstract drawings that features two complimentary, intertwining colors. The drawings are based on the artist’s travels, created during the artist’s road trips or drives throughout Long Island.
A car momentum drawing’s composition is dictated by the routes and road conditions taken by the artist. A more direct route will produce a more minimal work, while a more scenic road filled with potholes and speed bumps will produce a more complex image. One such drawing, Car Momentum Drawing: Riverhead, appears to be taken from the latter category. Situated in central Long Island, the artist’s journey to the East End appears to be filled with many twists and turns, along with a plethora of stoplights, that is indicated by the many purple and green pools of dry marker. A more direct route taken by the artist appears mapped out in Car Momentum Drawing: Coram. Done in orange-red and blue-green, the drawing features many straight, long lines, which indicates few roads taken over a longer period of time.
Two of the drawings included in the exhibition feature trips to and from the Islip Art Museum done in stunning neon colors. Car Momentum Drawing: Islip I features vibrant yellow and royal purple, while Car Momentum Drawing: Islip II is done in neon blue and pink. Despite the destination being the same, the two drawings are, compositionally, very different. This either indicates that the artist’s starting location differed between the two drawings or that he took different routes to reach his final destination. Other towns that serve as subjects in Murphy’s drawings include Shirley, Bellport, Setauket, and Selden.
The car momentum drawings are not done by hand, but are rather created by a handmade pendulum, holding a marker, that pivots across the paper. The apparatus is then placed in the artist’s car in the foot well of the passenger’s side seat. The lines and ink blots that are the final result of each work is thus created from the various twist, turns, and stationary moments the artist takes on his travel routes. Murphy uses two colors in each work. One color documents the artist’s route to a location, while the second color indicates the artist’s returning route from the designated location.
Eric Murphy is a fine artist from Long Island, NY. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History & Criticism from Stony Brook University. His artwork has been exhibited throughout Long Island with select locations including the South Bay Art Association in Bellport, NY, the Patchogue Arts Gallery in Patchogue, NY, and the Sunwood Estate Mansion in Stony Brook, NY.
Automentum is currently on view in the Museum Shop Exhibition space of the Islip Art Museum. The exhibition runs in conjunction with the museum’s main exhibition, Compendium, which was co-curated by Lorrie Fredette and Beth Giacummo, is on view from October 4 to December 27, 2015. Automentum is on view at the Islip Art Museum from October 11 – 25, 2015.
Jay Schuck, Museum Curatorial & Exhibitions Assistant/Jr. Curator