Elizabeth Murray  (American, 1940-2007) 

Elizabeth Murray (American, 1940–2007) is a Neo-Expressionist painter particularly known for her unconventionally-shaped canvases, and significant role in revitalizing painting during an era dominated by Conceptual Art. Born in Chicago, Murray spent much of her childhood sketching and drawing. In 1958, she entered the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to become a commercial artist, but her fascination with the Institute’s The Plate of Apples (1877) by Paul Cézanne (French, 1839-1906) inspired her to pursue painting instead. She went on to receive a MFA from Mills College in California in 1964. In the Post-Modern fashion, Murray’s work rejected Minimalism and attempted to revive concepts of narrative and identity in art. Children Meeting (1978) reflects her ability to convey meaning through geometric and biomorphic forms, an idea also manifested through her use of irregularly-shaped canvases. During the 1980s, she experimented even further by utilizing multiple, adjoining, or overlapping canvases in pieces such as Painters’ Progress (1981). In the late 1980s and 1990s, Murray received a number of awards for her work, including the Skowhegan Medal in Painting in 1986 and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Award in 1999. In the 1990s and 2000s, Murray designed large-scale mosaic murals for the subway stations at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, and the 23rd Street-Ely Avenue station in Queens. MoMA also honored her in 2006 with a retrospective spanning her 40 year career, a distinction given only to three other women artists: Louise Bourgeois (American/French, 1911–2010) in 1982, Lee Krasner (American, 1908–1984) in 1984, and Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928–2011) in 1989. Her paintings today hang in many important American museums, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, MoMA, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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Elizabeth Murray, Drawing for Dream of Life


Elizabeth Murray
Drawing for Dream of Life

Oxenberg Fine Art
Elizabeth Murray, Back in Town


Elizabeth Murray
Back in Town

Pace Gallery
Elizabeth Murray, Her Story


Elizabeth Murray
Her Story

Pace Gallery
Elizabeth Murray, Untitled (DOW)


Elizabeth Murray
Untitled (DOW)

Jim Kempner Fine Art
Elizabeth Murray, Untitled


Elizabeth Murray

Hal Katzen Gallery
Elizabeth Murray, War and Peace


Elizabeth Murray
War and Peace

Adam Baumgold Gallery
Elizabeth Murray, Clock


Elizabeth Murray

Nikola Rukaj Gallery
Elizabeth Murray, Untitled


Elizabeth Murray

Senior & Shopmaker Gallery
Elizabeth Murray, Untitled


Elizabeth Murray

Derriere L'Etoile Studios
Past auction results (332)  View All
Elizabeth Murray, Untitled


Elizabeth Murray
Untitled, 2002
prints and multiples, lithograph


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Elizabeth Murray, Jump; B/B AND A/B (2 works)


Elizabeth Murray
Jump; B/B AND A/B (2 works), 1993
lithograph in colors


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Elizabeth Murray, Snake cup


Elizabeth Murray
Snake cup, 1984
color lithograph


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1940   Born in Chicago, IL
1958 - 1962   BFA, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1962 - 1964   MFA, Mills College, Oakland, CA
1986   Skowhegan Medal for Painting, Skowhegan, ME
1992   Recipient, Honorary Doctorate, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Inducted as a member of the American Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, NY
1993   Recipient, Honorary Degree, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
Recipient, Larry Aldrich Prize in Contemporary Art
2001   Recipient, Honorary Doctorate, New School University, New York, NY
2002   Recipient, National Artist Award, Anderson Rand Art Center, Snowmass Village, CO
2007   Died in Washington County, NY
2009   Elizabeth Murray, Rosenbaum Contemporary, Boca Raton, FL (solo)
Elizabeth Murray, Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL (solo)
2008   Elizabeth Murray, University Art Gallery, Staller Center for the Arts, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY (solo)
2006   Elizabeth Murray: Paintings 2003–2006, PaceWildenstein, New York, NY (solo)
Elizabeth Murray: Sweetzer Suite, Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York, NY (solo)
2005 - 2006   Elizabeth Murray, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (solo)
2004   Elizabeth Murray, Susanne Hilberry Gallery, Ferndale, MI (solo)
2003   Elizabeth Murray Paintings 1999-2003, PaceWildenstein, New York, NY (solo)
2002   Elizabeth Murray Paintings and Works on Paper, Jaffe-Friede & Strauss Galleries, Hopkins Center for the Arts, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (solo)
Elizabeth Murray: Paintings and Works on Paper, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO (solo)
Elizabeth Murray: Watercolors, PaceWildenstein, New York, NY (solo)
2001   Elizabeth Murray, Texas Gallery, Houston, TX (solo)
2000   Elizabeth Murray Paintings, Susanne Hilberry Gallery, Birmingham, MI (solo)
1999   Elizabeth Murray: works on paper, Jan Weiner Gallery, Kansas City, MO (solo)
Elizabeth Murray: New Paintings, PaceWildenstein, New York, NY (solo)
1998   Elizabeth Murray: Recent Paintings and Works on Paper, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA (solo)
Elizabeth Murray: Works on Paper, Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA (solo)
1976   Elizabeth Murray: Recent Paintings. Paula Cooper Gallery. New York, NY (solo)
1975   Jared Sable Gallery. Toronto, Canada (solo)
  Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
  Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
  New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY
  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
  Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
  Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
  Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
  Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD
  Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
  Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
  Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX
  High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
  Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
  Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL
  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY