From afar, Chilcotin, 1969, resembles a table, but in fact it is six feet tall. “It’s a piece which has to be experienced,” says Murray. “There is a kind of Alice-In-Wonderland quality. It has the appearance of a table as you walk up to it, but by the time you’ve got there this literalness disappears and you almost feel you are shrinking.” Murray used Q-decking to create an expansive horizontal surface supported at one by a sawhorse leg and L-shaped bridge and by two post supports at the opposite end. A work whose scale plays with our visual perception, the sculpture is notable for its ever-changing colour, which ranges from lemon yellow to orange yellow depending on how the light falls on its surfaces.
Mastery in Metal
Robert Murray, Chilcotin, 1969
Painted Q-decking, 182.9 x 458.5 x 298.5 cm, Collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, purchased 1974 (18135). Photo credit: National Gallery of Canada.