Commenting on his practice, Murray explains that the form activates the colour: “When a piece is painted one colour it is possible to appreciate the changes of hue that light will create whenever it shifts direction. For instance, a piece painted blue may seem green in one area or warmly red somewhere else, but never the blue as you saw it in the can.” With the dramatic Cascade, twisting and curving forms exploit the effects of light and shadow on the sculpture’s blue hue. Although Murray’s work of the early 1960s often aligned with Minimalist sculptors, his compositions ultimately shared more with the Colour Field painters, who took hues as their subject, worked in large scale, and used the natural world as a point of departure for abstraction.
Mastery in Metal
Robert Murray, Cascade, 1983
Painted aluminum, 670 x 467 cm, University College Collection, Art Museum University of Toronto (UC711). Installation view of Cascade at the University of Toronto, n.d., photograph by Toni Hafkenscheid.