Mechanics Of Chaos. Michele Murtaugh's Solo Exhibition

33 Contemporary Gallery is pleased to announce the solo exhibition of Michele Murtaugh titled Mechanics Of Chaos.

April 4 to 30, 2022

Artist’s Reception: April 15 from 7-9 pm

A conversation between the artist and gallery director Sergio Gomez will take place the night of the reception at 8:00 pm.

What do we look like in the moment we decide to create chaos for ourselves? In this series I am exploring the things we do to kick up the sand on our very own plans and head straight into an imagined hell. I challenged to reveal the side of self that tends to dismantle and, at times, disintegrate comfort. I began this construction during the first few months of the pandemic when my daughter and I began reading The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, beginning with the Inferno.

And like many, I had an enormous amount of time to reflect on life and the words of this book and of how each level and punishment of hell was a direct correlation of how one lived. I donned my headlamp, of sorts, and went spelunking into the causes of my perceived hell and came to light a magnificent finding! What had felt like hell was only a part of myself that needed change! By creating self chaos, I was answering the call for alteration.

I discovered that some of my tendencies of self sabotage and or chaos was a covert operation of readjustment. In working through each of these paintings I was able to actualize what that side of me looks like. I chose the location of sand dunes to emphasize the duality of the perceived bleakness and the infinite vastness of possibility. I chose to paint suggestively rather than precisely to magnify movement and emotions.


If I Endlessly Sift This Sand I’ll Find Myself, 2022
Oil on linen
54 × 58 in
137.2 × 147.3 cm


Yes, I Can See The Past!, 2022
Oil on linen
50 × 46 in
127 × 116.8 cm


No Sound, 2022
Oil on linen
56 × 60 in
142.2 × 152.4 cm



On The Way, 2022
Oil on linen
62 × 70 in
157.5 × 177.8 cm

About the Artist

Michele Ann Murtaugh, 1969, American, Born in Arizona, based in Los Angeles, California. In Michele Ann Murtaugh’s figurative narrative oil paintings, her subjects address our tendency create chaos in our own lives. She emphasizes the juxtaposition of intense emotion with the bleakness and vastness of the backdrop of sand dunes that some may call hell. Inspired by Dante’s Inferno, the paintings in this series titled Mechanics of Chaos, Michele explores the idea that a person may cause one’s own hell and correlating punishment in order to rip ourselves out of the comfort of our pot and into the ground where we can expand.

View Available Works