Elizabeth Murray (American, 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.


Born in Chicago, USA
BFA, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA
MFA, Mills College, Oakland, USA
Skowhegan Medal for Painting, Skowhegan, USA
Recipient, Honorary Doctorate, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA
Inducted as a member of the American Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, USA
Recipient, Honorary Degree, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, USA
Recipient, Larry Aldrich Prize in Contemporary Art
Recipient, Honorary Doctorate, New School University, New York, USA
Recipient, National Artist Award, Anderson Rand Art Center, Snowmass Village, USA
Died in Washington County, USA


Elizabeth Murray, Rosenbaum Contemporary, Boca Raton, USA (solo)
Elizabeth Murray, Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, USA (solo)
Elizabeth Murray, University Art Gallery, Staller Center for the Arts, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, USA (solo)
Elizabeth Murray: Paintings 2003–2006, PaceWildenstein, New York, USA (solo)
Elizabeth Murray: Sweetzer Suite, Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York, USA (solo)
Elizabeth Murray, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (solo)
Elizabeth Murray, Susanne Hilberry Gallery, Ferndale, USA (solo)
Elizabeth Murray Paintings 1999-2003, PaceWildenstein, New York, USA (solo)
Elizabeth Murray Paintings and Works on Paper, Jaffe-Friede & Strauss Galleries, Hopkins Center for the Arts, Dartmouth College, Hanover, USA (solo)
Elizabeth Murray: Paintings and Works on Paper, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, USA (solo)
Elizabeth Murray: Watercolors, PaceWildenstein, New York, USA (solo)
Elizabeth Murray, Texas Gallery, Houston, USA (solo)
Elizabeth Murray Paintings, Susanne Hilberry Gallery, Birmingham, USA (solo)
Elizabeth Murray: works on paper, Jan Weiner Gallery, Kansas City, USA (solo)
Elizabeth Murray: New Paintings, PaceWildenstein, New York, USA (solo)
Elizabeth Murray: Recent Paintings and Works on Paper, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, USA (solo)
Elizabeth Murray: Works on Paper, Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, USA (solo)
Elizabeth Murray: Recent Paintings, Paula Cooper Gallery. New York, USA (solo)
Jared Sable Gallery, Toronto, Canada (solo)

Public Collections

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