exhibition
Murray Favro, Sunlight on Table and Floor , 1991. Wood, paint, metal, 259.1 x 301 x 264.2 cm assembled. Purchased 1992, National Gallery of Canada (no. 36139)
Murray Favro, Sunlight on Table and Floor , 1991. Wood, paint, metal, 259.1 x 301 x 264.2 cm assembled. Purchased 1992, National Gallery of Canada (no. 36139). Photo © NGC / CMCP.
At first sight, "Sunlight on Table and Floor" appears to be an ordinary domestic interior, but on closer inspection we realize that the impression of light cast onto the table and floor is illusory. By sanding and painting the wooden surfaces, the artist has replicated the pattern of sunlight entering through a window, playing with light and shadow just as a painter would in a naturalistic work. The result is startling in its realism, yet we are made aware of the artifice and the gallery setting. The piece captures an ephemeral moment and demonstrates Favro's exploration and reproduction of objects and perceptual phenomena.

Born in Huntsville, Ontario, 24 December 1940

“Foremost I am interested in creativity itself, in the process of invention, and, then, in how it forms in a material expression”

Murray Favro has been one of Canada’s most distinctive and influential artists. His multi-disciplinary practice has yielded a significant body of work that includes drawing, sculpture, performance and installation, often incorporating slide and film projections, lighting effects, computer and electronic technology.

Favro moved to London as a teenager and is an important figure among a significant generation of artists – Jack Chambers, Greg Curnoe and Ron Martin among them – who became active in that city in the early 1960s and drew national attention as the London Regionalist School of artists. He is also well known as a founding member of the Nihilist Spasm Band, which was crucial to the development of his artistic approach.

His work is represented in every major public collection in Canada, and has been exhibited widely in Canada and abroad for the past five decades. He is the winner of the 2007 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts.