“Elizabeth Murray: Flying Bye”

“At a moment when painting had been declared dying, or dead, she became one of heterogeneous group of artists—among them Jack Whitten, Mary Heilmann, Brice Marden, and Ron Gorchov—reinvigorating the medium.”

Camden Arts Centre, London, through September 15, 2019

Born in Chicago, Elizabeth Murray (1940–2007) moved to New York in 1967. There, at a moment when some had declared painting dead, she became one of a heterogeneous group of artists—among them Jack Whitten, Mary Heilmann, Brice Marden, and Ron Gorchov—reinvigorating the medium. This show, the first institutional exhibition of Murray’s work in the UK, brings together a selection of her breakthrough multidimensional, multi-panel pieces of the 1980s and early 1990s. Employing canvas stretched over shaped supports and combining figuration with abstraction, these idiosyncratic—and often monumental—constructions drew from, among other sources, Cubism, Surrealism, early Modernist and Pop art, Abstract Expressionism, and cartooning. On view are paintings like Wake Up (1981) with its fractured image of a coffee cup; Bean, Summer (1982), featuring a cartoonish, comma-like form; and the colorful, biomorphic Sandpaper Fate (1992–93), as well as drawings and prints from the same period.

Elizabeth Murray, Sandpaper Fate, 1992-93, oil on canvas, three parts, overall installation dimensions: 104 x 102 x 10 inches. Collection of the Murray-Holman Family Trust, courtesy Pace Gallery, New York. Copyright © The Murray-Holman Family Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS 2019.