Elizabeth Murray has radically altered the structure of modernists painting. Her shaped and constructed canvases, often topologically modeled in three dimensions of fitted together out of multiple jigsaw-like parts, treat figure and ground in unprecedented ways, giving the elastic shapes of classic Surrealism a space in their own image. The alternatively comfortable and cataclysmic world that her images depict would crack irrevocably if it followed Euclidean logic; instead, it is in constant metamorphosis under stress. With an extended essay by curator Robert Storr, plate section, and in-depth interview with the author, the book will explore Murray's relation to artists such as Paul Cezanne, Stuart Davis, Willem de Kooning, Claes Oldenburg, and Frank Stella, as well as to the New Image paintings, Neo-Expressionism, and graffiti art of the 1970s and '80s. For Storr, Murray is a painter who seems to work outside the mainstream but whose address of fundamental formal issues has ultimately altered the course of the mainstream and opened up options for rising generations. This book accompanies the most detailed examination of Murray's art yet mounted, showing its development from Pop-oriented reliefs in the 1960s to the extraordinary volumetric formats of her recent work.
About the Author
Robert Storr is an artist, critic, and curator.