Born in 1927 in Bury, Lancashire, into a large Catholic family, Murphy was encouraged to pursue art when he attended evening classes given by L.S. Lowry. He begun his formal artistic education at the Slade, where he was taught by Claude Rogers and William Coldstream. The latter inculcated in him a mathematical method of capturing the human form.
In 1954 he suffered terrible burns whilst painting a self-portrait in a wedding dress that he had intended for his then-girlfriend to model instead. However, upon his recovery, he was awarded the Slade diploma prize. When he and his fellow student, Craigie Aitchison, graduated, they won an Abbey Travelling Scholarship and drove to Ravenna together.
Murphy began teaching at the Slade in 1959, then at Chelsea College of Arts until 1974. He painted throughout his tenure, and his Yellow Nude was acquired for the Arts Council Collection from the London Group in 1964. Ten years later, he won the John Moores Painting Prize for Figure with Yellow Foreground.
1927 Born in Bury, Lancashire
1951-54 Slade School of Art
1954-55 Post-graduate student, Slade School of Art
1955 Abbey Travelling Scholarship
1959 Taught at the Slade School of Art
1960-74 Taught at Chelsea School of Art
1973 Lorne Scholarship
1974 John Moores Competition, 1st prize
1983 The Hard-Won Image, Tate Gallery, London
Selected Group Exhibitions
1952 Young Contemporaries, Tate Gallery, London
1960 Modern British Portraits, Arts Council, London
1964 New Painting, Arts Council, London
1974 9th John Moores Liverpool Exhibition
2005 Three Points of View, Myles Murphy, Patrick Symons, Euan Uglow Browse & Darby, London
Work in Public Collections
Arts Council of Great Britain
Tate Gallery, London