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Over her career Gwynn Murrill has created animal figures that are both timeless and contemporary. Initially working in wood and marble, Murrill is now best known for her work cast in bronze, and for her enduring talent in portraying the essence of her subject in a form that is simultaneously abstract and figurative. Says Murrill: “It is a challenge to try and take the form that nature makes so well and to derive my own interpretation of it.”
Paring away everything that is not absolutely necessary to perceive her subjects in all their purity, Murrill often sacrifices details leaving us with sculptures emanating primal characteristics and universal attributes. Murrill’s signature bronze works are fluid in line and form, elegant, inviting to touch and instilled with vitality and a sense of being–either caught in an tacit moment of serenity and self-possession or brimming with the implied potential to pounce, twist, or take off at any moment.
Murrill has spent most of her life living and working in the coastal hills of Southern California. She received her BFA and MFA from the University California, Los Angeles. Since her first solo show in 1972, Murrill has had over 50 solo shows and has been included in more than 80 group exhibitions. Her most recent public installation consisted of 22 monumental bronze works, her largest exhibition to date, along the one-mile length of Avenue of The Stars in Century City, Los Angeles.
Murrill’s past accolades include: a National Endowment for the Arts Grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Prix di Roma Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome, and a Purchase Award from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In 2009, Murrill was honored with the Public Art Network’s “Year in Review Award” for her public sculpture and relief commission at The Montana in Pasadena, CA. Her work is held by many private collections and can be seen in a number of public commissions throughout the U.S. and across the globe, including the American Embassy in Singapore; the City of Obihiro, Japan; Target Corporation Headquarters in Minneapolis; the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, CA, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, WY.