Gwynn Murrill received her MFA from UCLA. Her sculpture is now part of collections across the globe. Most of Murrill’s work currently in public collections is shown outdoors, including pieces at the Norton Simon Museum, the City of Hope, the San Francisco Zoo, and Grand Hope Park in Los Angeles. Murrill is well represented by a number of prestigious galleries, most prominently LA Louver in Venice, CA and Joan T. Washburn Gallery in New York. (www.murrillsculpture.com)
Murrill’s primary subjects are animals. She is best known for her coyotes, eagles, and cougars, as well as her smaller cats and dogs. Her interest in the animal form lies in the fact that she can use the subject as a means to create a form that is simultaneously abstract and figurative. Murrill says, “It is a challenge to try and take the form that nature makes so well and to derive my own interpretation of it.” As Murrill’s first sculpture for The Frostig Collection (2005) was a beautiful Stretching Dog Maquette, we are thrilled to be adding a feline companion, Cougar, for this year’s collection.
Cougar is immediately recognizable as a signature Murrill sculpture: smooth, stylized, and sleek with subtle lines revealing detail. Intriguing is Murrill’s choice to sculpt only a fragment of the animal, its head in slight repose. Presenting the work on a stone pedestal becomes an interesting reference to busts from art history. One can imagine this sculpture among the classic fragmented marble heads of deities or prominent historical figures at the Getty. Murrill’s choice of porcelain is a first for her and becomes the perfect vehicle to demonstrate her balance between the figurative and the abstract. The result is incredibly successful — elegant and sophisticated.
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