Dan Coombs | Darren Murray


16th November – 7th December 2013


Delphine’ is a French feminine name which means ‘to look or act like a dolphin’.


In Studies of a Nude I-XII (2013) Coombs has pasted the photographic head-shots of an anonymous ‘70s model onto twelve canvases and invented the model's naked body in acrylic paint beneath. The face and head, though seen from different angles, remains the same, whilst the body undergoes surprising metamorphoses and transformations. In creating a series of imaginary naked portraits, Coombs is re-examining the notion of the male artist who channels his feelings through the imaginary ‘muse’ or female subject.


Darren Murray is exhibiting a single painting Dolphin (2013). This meticulous rendering of a dolphin gliding silently and serenely through dark water is based on a found photograph. In the context of a visually saturated media culture, Murray uses the medium of painting to interrogate our relationship to the natural and to examine the way images allow us to distance ourselves from the real.


Darren Murray was born in Antrim in 1977. He graduated in Fine Art from the University of Ulster in 1999 and was awarded the Arts

Council of Northern Ireland Fellowship at the British School at Rome in 2009. Solo exhibitions include New Paintings, The Third Space Gallery, 2007, The Assisted Sublime, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin 2006, Resort, Arte Ricambi, Verona, 2006. He has also exhibited his work in several group shows including The Perfect Nude, Charlie Smith Gallery, London, 2012, Disputatio, Gooden Gallery, London, 2011, Accademia Della Accademie, Complesso Monumentale di Santo Spirito, Sassia, Rome, 2010, Journeys, Louvian Institute for Ireland, Leuven, Belgium 2007 and Dogs Have No Religion, Czech Museum of Fine Art, Prague, 2006. Murray’s work was also exhibited in The Nature of Things, Northern Ireland’s first participation at the Venice Biennale in 2005.


Dan Coombs studied at The Ruskin School, Oxford (1989-92) and the Royal College of Art (1992-94). He was a Rome Scholar in painting, British school in Rome (1994-5). He has exhibited widely in the UK, Europe and America and recent solo shows include Heaven and Earth, The Fine Art Society (2011), The Dreamers, Fred Gallery (2009), The Garden, Mihai Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles (2005), The Cornerhouse, Manchester (2002), and The Approach Gallery, London (in 2005, 2001, 1999 and 1997). Recent Group Shows include Speak! Clown, Fold Gallery London (2013), Masquerade: Be Another, Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich (2013), A House of Many Windows, Collyer Bristow Gallery, London (2013), London 12, City Museum Prague (2012), What Have I Done, The Fine Art Society (2010), Viva Curandero, Mihai Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles (2007), Metropolis Rise: New Art from London, Shanghai and 798 Space, Beijing, China (2006), Collage, Bloomberg Space, London (2004), Following and to be Followed, Le Consortium, Dijon (2004), Lyon Biennale (2003), Young British Artists Part VI, Saatchi Gallery (1996). Publications include The New Neurotic Realism, Saatchi Publications (1998), and Young British Artists: The Saatchi Decade, Booth-Clibborn Editions (1999).