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  30

Catherine Murphy speaking at the New York Studio School. Tuesday, March 12, 2013.

"Rather than the magic Paolo Uccello was trying to achieve, mine is a memory of that kind of hopefulness. Its only the memory of the possibility of Heaven."

"Patience is something you need when you have to do something you don't want to do. But painting is my thrill. Painting for me doesn't require patience. I am not a patient person."

"The act of working from life is such that you become one with what you're painting. When I'm painting I'm never naming. It's all just what is."

"I did not want to make paintings that only refer to the tradition of representation. Abstraction is reality. Barnett Newman is not just an idea - Barnett Newman is a painting in the world. Why can't I refer to it as I might refer to an apple? Why can't I just use these things as I would use anything? Why isn't it just part of a vocabulary? And I don't think it's just art vocabulary. I think post war abstraction and everything that has happened up to the present is relevant through a kind of visual syntax that extends to commercials on television - certainly to the internet and everything from the minimalists, post minimalists, NeoGeo, etc is part of our language and why can't we use that language? I want to use the language to remind you that the painting is an object while at the same time - a painting is a magic box."

"I dream paintings. I have a notion and then I work on it for 10 years."

"I never think of story. I think formally almost exclusively."

"There's an essay that Elizabeth Bishop wrote about being in prison. That's what I want - I want to be in prison - and never leave my studio. I don't want to go to Egypt. I do want to understand my original impulse - which is always about form."

"I want these paintings to look like they were no trouble. But inevitably, without exception the trouble is endless."

"The only way I know about anything is by painting it."

"I think the reason why you continue being a painter - first of all you have to succeed, but then it's curiosity. I'm just curious to see these as paintings."

"I'm an Irish girl from a family of story tellers and I come from a literary tradition more than a visual tradition and I wanted to play with a full deck."

"Every artist is a contrarian. I tried to be an abstract painter but I couldn't do it. I was really bad. This is what I love to do. But all painting is abstract."

"I don't think about making groups of paintings that are meant to hang together. I don't want to think about painting in that way."

"In the 60's, when I started making paintings, my goal was to achieve objectivity. But low and behold my style emerged. I don't think about style. I'm looking for clarity. Perhaps that is an idea about style."

"I wanted not to make modest paintings. And making representational paintings was an undertaking that many people would be very happy to see remain modest."

"I've always thought - you have no choice but to make existential paintings. The fact that we're painters - its an existential act in general."

JohnMitchell©2013