MATERIAL CULTURE

MATERIAL CULTURE

Ed Bing Lee and Ryan Sarah Murphy

January 12 - April 28, 2024

OPENING EVENT: February 2, 2024 | 5 - 9 PM

Materials are a main indicator used to define an artistic practice, denoting it within larger contexts and techniques. Immersed with history and theory, materials have been used to create boundaries between what is commonly perceived as fine art, and that as craft. Although these distinctions are becoming less clear as time progresses, there is still pressure for artists to use certain mediums as an artistic license into the fine art world. Forgoing this license altogether, both Ryan Sarah Murphy and Ed Bing Lee utilize materials largely associated with functionality, or even practical purpose, as the driving force behind their work. 

Ed Bing Lee is a long-time practitioner of knotting. A core tenet of the method requires its artists to utilize a consistent material in order to maintain a fluid aesthetic. Lee has spent his career rejecting this doctrine, and instead has considered his practice to be one of exploring knotting without material limitations. Materials suit his subject matter and compositions. This direction has led him to use anything from embroidery floss and curling ribbon to shoe laces, resulting in riveting textures. Lee further investigates texture through a variety of knots, some standard, while others he has invented himself. Lee has carved a career that is based in craft-originated principles, but through his experimentation has expanded the possibilities of the tradition itself. 

As a multimedia artist, Ryan Sarah Murphy explores color and composition through salvaged cardboard sourced from New York City’s streets. These cardboard constructions originate through selected color, and then cut to remove any graphic design to be finally adhered in layered effect. Murphy also employs used book covers, another fiber-based panel material, to further her compositional direction. Minimal, yet bright, the work imbues a color-block methodology while departing from its usual material suspects – namely paint. With her process-based practice, Murphy allows the naturally occurring shapes of the found cardboard to frame the overall design. The final works are striking in their structure and color, a surprising beauty forged from discarded waste that is barely reminiscent of what it once was. 

Constance S. & Robert J. Hennessy Project Space

Exhibitions Galleries Museums Northern Delaware

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The Delaware Contemporary
200 S. Madison Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

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