Sundaram Tagore Gallery New York presents Without Borders, a new body of work by Judith Murray. With these lush, mostly large-scale paintings, Murray further develops her personal definition of painting parameters—parameters that she showed for the first time in works exhibited at the historic Betty Parsons Gallery in 1976 (John Perreault of the former Soho News called Murray a true “non-conformist artist” in a full-page review of that show). Murray’s work of that period incorporated highly refined, eccentric geometric shapes on pristine fields of pigment. These new works represent a merging of those early, articulated shapes with the active, even exuberant, field that characterizes her later works. She masterfully combines these multiple compositional components to make a single statement.
Among Murray’s signature parameters is her limited palette, which has always consisted of only four base colors: red, yellow, black and white. The varied hues in the hundreds of works she has produced throughout her career—paintings, drawings, prints, and even sculpture—have emerged from just this limited palette. She believes it represents her primary universal palette, with references to prehistoric painting and aboriginal art around the world (Murray has traveled extensively—from the jungles of South America to the ancient temples of Asia—researching crafts and art).
Compositionally, Murray works from an off-square format and all her paintings include a vertical bar along the right edge. By their very nature and design, the paintings remain abstract as the bar prevents any completion of pictorial space, landscape or other. The bar creates a tension with the rest of the painting irrespective of the composition, acting as a visual foil.
In many of these new paintings, each stroke is lovingly developed to look both spontaneous as well as articulated. Murray has always painted in oil paint on linen canvas in order to achieve the refinement and control her images demand. A careful study of her paintings yields a multiplicity of visual variables that demands time as a component in their perceptual unfolding.
This is Murray’s twenty fourth solo exhibition and her seventh with Sundaram Tagore Gallery. 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, India, through the Arts in Embassies Program by the Department of State; the royal family of Abu Dhabi; the Library of Congress, Washington, DC; The Brooklyn Museum; The Carnegie Institute; Lincoln Center in New York; The Contemporary Museum, Hawaii; and the New York Public Library.
Murray has been commissioned three times by Lincoln Center to create a work for its “Mostly Mozart” program. Murray’s paintings and drawings have been included in numerous anthologies. As a young artist she represented the United States as artist in residence with the State Department in Poland. She has taught and lectured at several universities.
Judith Murray lives and works in New York City and Sugarloaf Key, Florida.