American artist Judith Murray has created a trademark language that is abstract and deeply expressive. Oil paintings from early in her career in the 1970s exhibited stark and incisive forms in red, white, yellow and black. The vertical bar down the right-hand edge of the canvas that first appeared in those paintings has become a permanent element in all her work, in effect anchoring the rest of the canvas to the picture’s frame. Over the years, she has remained faithful to the use of only these four colors, mixing and combining them to produce a seemingly infinite variety of hues. The discipline of restricting her palette has given a kind of subliminal, even invisible, stability to her work. More recently, Murray has been creating large-scale paintings in which mostly short brushstrokes scramble and chase each other in lively patterns across the canvas. In her latest paintings, scattered among the animated brushstrokes are abstract, eccentric geometric shapes in her basic four colors that combine these multiple compositional components to make a single statement.
Judith Murray has had solo shows at the legendary Clocktower, New York; PS 1/MoMA, New York; the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts; as well as many gallery exhibitions including at the historic Betty Parsons Gallery in 1976. She is the recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Academy Award in Painting; a Guggenheim Fellowship; and The National Endowment of the Arts Award. Murray was inducted into The National Academy in 2009.
Judith Murray’s work is in numerous notable public and private collections, including those of the United States Embassy in Mumbai; the royal family of Abu Dhabi; the Library of Congress, Washington, DC; The Brooklyn Museum; The Contemporary Museum, Hawaii; and the New York Public Library. Murray has been commissioned three times by Lincoln Center to create a print edition for its “Mostly Mozart” program. Her paintings and drawings have been included in numerous anthologies. As a young artist Murray was artist-in-residence with the United States State Department Information Agency in Poland. She has taught and lectured at several universities.
Murray works and lives in New York and Florida.