Elizabeth Murray

Dallas Museum of Art

Elizabeth Murray’s works of the last seven years are composed according to contradictions. With most of them constructed of multiple canvases, usually in layers, the format is neither painting nor sculpture but a little bit of both. Images are often fragmented like puzzle pieces, but the parts never really fit together to make a synchronized whole—the temptation to mentally fit the square peg into the round hole is always present. And as a further complication, although these works might initially appear to be abstract, they are always filled with imagery—sometimes obvious, sometimes not. Some are still lifes, particularly a series of works based on cups and saucers, such as Yikes, 1982; others operate as a kind of simplified genre painting—a man holding a paint brush (Brush’s Shadow, 1981), a figure sitting by a pool (Writer, 1979). But the images are never the first thing I see. The

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.