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Murphy attended the Slade School of Art in London. Teaching at the Slade laid great emphasis on a deep engagement with observed reality. It also stressed the importance of measurement as a foundation for drawing from the model. At first glance this painting looks relatively simple, with its depiction of a nude seated between two windows with an artificial palm tree. However, this apparent simplicity conceals a complex approach to the representation of the human form and its location in space. Murphy organises a sophisticated balance of observed detail and abstract, flat planes of colour. This painting won first prize in the John Moores Liverpool exhibition in 1974.

September 2004