Murray, Elizabeth

Murray, Elizabeth,

1940–2007, American abstract artist, b. Chicago. She moved in 1967 to New York, where she became part of the post-minimalismminimalism,
schools of contemporary art and music, with their origins in the 1960s, that have emphasized simplicity and objectivity. Minimalism in the Visual Arts
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 generation of artists in the 1970s. In the late 1960s, having switched from acrylic to oil paint, she made small rectangular paintings with jiggly black lines that formed grids, ladders, and fans on monochrome fields. Recognizable forms began to appear in her work in 1981. Her mature paintings, often classified as neoexpressionist, are abstract works in vibrant, exuberant colors. The canvases are frequently irregularly shaped, often protruding in three dimensions or fitted together like sophisticated jigsaw puzzles, composed of several interlapping canvases, e.g. the 19 that form Painters' Progress (1981). Her subject matter often includes coffee cups, utensils, chairs, tables, and other domestic items combined with zany cartoon figures. Murray taught at Bard College and received (1999) a MacArthur Foundation fellowship.


See S. Graze, Elizabeth Murray: Paintings and Drawings (1987) and R. Storr, Elizabeth Murray: Popped Art (museum catalog, 2005); documentary dir. by K. Zea (2016).

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