Painting and Drawings by Elizabeth Murray Go on View at Omi

Kind of Blue, 2004; oil on canvas on wood; 9' x 11' x 2"; painting appears courtesy of Candace King Weir Foundation and image appears courtesy of PaceWildenstein Catalogue, 2006.

Kind of Blue, 2004; oil on canvas on wood; 9′ x 11′ x 2″; painting appears courtesy of Candace King Weir Foundation and image appears courtesy of PaceWildenstein Catalogue, 2006.

(GHENT, N.Y.) – Paintings and drawings by the late artist Elizabeth Murray go on view in the Charles B. Benenson Gallery and Visitors Center at Omi International Arts Center on Friday, April 3, and remain on display through May 31, 2015. There will be a free-to-the-public opening reception for the exhibition on Saturday April 4, at 4pm. Curator Nicole Hayes will give a short talk on the influence of Murray’s work on the art world and on painting in the postmodern era.

The show includes three large-scale paintings by the late artist: Kind of Blue, The New World, and Morning is Breaking, as well as two smaller works on paper. Elizabeth Murray’s process in creating these large-scale paintings involves multiple overlays, abstractions and an encoded vocabulary of pictures, letters and archetypal symbols.

Murray’s paintings burst with lively excitement, at the same time maintaining a sense of stability and order. Reminiscent of pop art sensibilities, there is an element of fun and a type of graphic cubism happening in these energetic paintings, which are quite sculptural and are distant reminders of the three-dimensional wall pieces of Rauschenberg and Rosenquist. Often one to three inches thick, these works contain several opportunities of negative space, where the bridges of canvas seem to float off the wall.

Says curator Nicole Hayes, “These paintings are not in public collections and have been exhibited only a handful of times before Omi, at such prestigious venues as the Museum of Modern Art, NY during Murray’s 2005 retrospective exhibition, and the Venice Biennale in 2007. This exhibition at Omi brings a unique opportunity to people of our region to experience rarely seen masterworks by one of the most important painters of the postmodern era.”

Elizabeth Murray was born in Chicago in 1940, received her BFA at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1962, and subsequently an MFA from Mills College (Oakland, CA) in 1964. She held several teaching positions throughout a number of American universities and colleges including Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.).

Murray’s work has been included and exhibited in nearly sixty solo exhibitions throughout the world since her debut at the Annual Exhibition: Contemporary American Painting at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1972. She participated in six Whitney Biennial exhibitions since 1973, and in numerous group shows in institutions and galleries throughout the world, including the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas, TX), Gallery Mukai (Tokyo), and Galerie Jahn und Fusban (Munich) to name a few. Works by Murray can be found in over forty public collections in the United States, including the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY) and the Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh, PA).

Omi International Arts Center seeks to foster an environment of creative exploration and exchange, professional opportunity and exposure, and a stylistically and culturally diverse community for creative artists from around the world. Through our programs and resulting public events – including our Residency Programs, The Fields Sculpture Park, Architecture Omi, and Education Omi – Omi contributes to a vibrant arts culture locally, regionally, and internationally.

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