Walter Tandy Murch


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Painter. A still life specialist, he assembled objects in odd combinations, giving surreal overtones to atmospheric, moody compositions. Although his technique extended the golden patina of old master traditions, Murch's frequent inclusion of machines and other paraphernalia unmistakably of the twentieth century and his interest in purely formal arrangement mark his work as modern. In the 1950s and 1960s, some of his images took on an otherworldly quality, as he concentrated more intensely on the abstract qualities of form and light and sometimes incorporated undecipherable, perhaps imaginary geometric elements. Born in Toronto, he studied between 1925 and 1927 at the Ontario College of Art before moving permanently to New York. There he worked briefly at the Art Students League and studied with Arshile Gorky. During the 1930s and 1940s, he worked as a fashion illustrator and painted a number of murals in apartment houses and in public places, such as restaurants and department stores. A friendship with Joseph Cornell spurred the development of his mature style in the late 1930s.

Subjects: Art.

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