Artist Steve Murphy
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(b. 1951) Murphy is a Port Arthur native who now resides in Houston. He attended Lamar University in 1973 and earned his B.A. in 1975 from the University of Houston where he studied painting with John Alexander. Murphy’s career extends into engineering, and the designs for his sculptures often originate from engineering drawings. Murphy starts with a basic two-dimensional shape, then adds a third dimension to give it form and depth. His work is about form, volume, surface and edge. While the sculptures have a simple, minimalist appearance, they convey a sense of tension in the way they are balanced and appear to be on the verge of tipping over.

Murphy has exhibited at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, The Galveston Art Center, and the Mobile Museum of Art. He participated in the Venice Architectural Biennale in 2018. His work is in several corporate collections, and he was selected to create a large-scale installation in the Cotwold 2000 Project in Buffalo Bayou in Houston. He is featured in the 2014 book Texas Abstract: Modern/Contemporary.


Willful Suspension of Disbelief by Steve Murphy

Willful Suspension of Disbelief

Year: 2014
Medium: Oxidized Steel
Location: Science & Technology Building, North Lobby

Murphy titles his works to allow for multiple levels of interpretation. He wants the viewer to bring their personal references to the work to find their unique connection to the pieces. “I want the viewer to slow down, have a quiet, meditative-like experience when contemplating these works and hopefully, walk away with a fresh way of seeing and experiencing the world around them.” The title for this sculpture comes from a term often associated with magic or fantasy films in which the viewer is willing to suspend critical faculties to believe something surreal for the sake of enjoyment.