Judith Murray, who works primarily in oil on canvas, has created a trademark language that is abstract and deeply expressive, with short, animated brushstrokes chasing each other in lively patterns across the surfaces of her paintings. She uses a palette of only four base colors: red, yellow, black and white. The varied hues in the hundreds of works she has produced—paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture—have emerged from just this palette. Murray, who has traveled extensively, from the jungles of South America to the ancient temples of Asia, researching crafts and art, believes it represents her primary, universal palette, with reference to prehistoric painting and aboriginal art around the world.
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.
Judith Murray has had solo shows at the Clocktower and MoMA PS1, New York; the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts; as well as numerous 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 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship; and a National Endowment for the Arts Award. Murray was inducted into the National Academy, New York, in 2009.
Judith Murray’s work is in the collections of the Consulate General of the United States, Mumbai; the royal family of Abu Dhabi; the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; the Brooklyn Museum and the New York Public Library; and Honolulu Museum of Art.
Born in New York, 1941 | Lives and works in New York and Sugarloaf Key, Florida
Oxygen, 2014, oil on linen, 8.3 x 4.5 feet/2.5 x 1.4 meters