by Jerry Saltz
Elizabeth Murray, who died on Aug. 12, 2007, was among her generation’s leading painterly lights. Even though almost every artist who emerged in the 1970s experimented with shaped paintings, Murray’s lopsided, buckling, asymmetrical, multipaneled canvases made the most convincing case that painting needn’t only be flat rectangles and squares but could be irregular, bumpy, and filled with holes. By the time she died, at 66, Murray was widely recognized. She exhibited regularly at the Paula Cooper Gallery starting in the early ‘70s, and in 1995 she joined PaceWildenstein. She had a retrospective at the Whitney in 1988, received a MacArthur "genius" grant in 1999, created a kind of shimmering Byzantine glass mosaic cave at the 59th Street stop on the Lexington Avenue subway, and in 2005 had a 40-year career survey at the Museum of Modern Art.