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The Estate of Elizabeth Murray is now represented by Gladstone Gallery

July 7, 2020 – Gladstone Gallery is proud to announce its representation of the Estate of Elizabeth Murray. Murray’s densely painted, often uniquely-shaped canvases and intuitive approach to depicting forms and colors in space transformed the course of art history and continue to have a significant impact on contemporary artists working today.

Born in 1940 in Chicago, Murray had an interest in art from an early age. While attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she was deeply influenced by the work of Paul Cézanne, which inspired her to pursue a degree in painting. After graduating in 1962, Murray received her MFA from Mills College in Oakland, California in 1964, and relocated to New York City in 1967.

In New York, Murray developed a singular artistic practice and honed her intuitive approach to masterfully combining shapes and colors in both two and three dimensional spaces. Interested in the plastic qualities of paint, she spent the decade of the 1960s experimenting with soft sculpture. Her compositions from the 1970s, in which rhythmic symbols play across thickly-layered rectangular planes of color, demonstrate Murray’s astuteness at crafting and understanding form, and highlight the artist’s hand during a period when Minimalism was the predominant movement in New York’s art scene. Her radical and trailblazing approach to art making evolved with the introduction of massive sized, multi-panel works in relief configurations. These complex canvases that began in the early 1980s and continued until her death in 2007, challenged the very definition of painting. When her spirals and pregnant commas began to suggest recognizable forms—cups, tables, chairs—the narrative of the work was labeled "domestic." To this she replied, “Cézanne painted cups and saucers and apples, and no one assumed he spent a lot of time in the kitchen.” Bridging Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and Minimalism, Murray was instrumental in reawakening the power of painting, and her expansive body of work continues to influence and inspire artists, writers, and curators in profound and eye-opening ways.

 “We are beyond thrilled to collaborate with Elizabeth Murray’s Estate, and are eager to have this opportunity to continue demonstrating her lasting impact on the course of art history. Elizabeth’s work has been a major influence to many artists, throughout the art world and also at the Gallery, so we are honored to take on this significant responsibility,” notes Barbara Gladstone.

Murray’s work has been the subject of major exhibitions around the world since her New York City debut in the 1972 Annual Exhibition, “Contemporary American Painting” at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Solo exhibition highlights include: Camden Arts Centre, Camden, UK (2019); Anderson Collection at Stanford University, CA (2018); Musée d’art modern et contemporaine, Geneva (2016); BAM, Brooklyn, NY (2016); Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, CA (2014); Arts Club of Chicago (2009); University Art Gallery, Staller Center for the Arts, Stony Brook University, NY (2008); Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS (1993); Newark Museum, NJ (1992); Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH (1991); and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA (1988). In 1987, a mid-career retrospective, “Elizabeth Murray: Paintings and Drawings,” organized by Sue Graze and Kathy Halbriech, originated at the Dallas Museum of Art, and later traveled to the Albert and Vera List Visual Arts Center, MIT, Cambridge and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. In 2005, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, opened a career retrospective, which traveled to Intitut Valencia d’Art Modern, Valencia Spain. This fall, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston will present “Wild Life: Elizabeth Murray & Jessi Reaves,” curated by Rebecca Matalon. In Summer 2021, The University at Buffalo Art Galleries will present “Elizabeth Murray: Back in Town.” This show, curated by Robert Scalise, will survey paintings, drawings, prints, and studies spanning five decades, focusing on Murray's time in Buffalo, New York.


For more information, please contact Andrew Huff: