Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I Always Wanted To Meet Elizabeth Murray

I always wanted to meet Elizabeth Murray. My introduction to her was in the form of a cover photo of “Art News” magazine in the nineteen eighties. Most of the artists of the time posed very seriously in "I Am an Artist" poses. Elizabeth Murray posed smiling while holding her young daughter in her arms. She appeared to be very happy for having the attention and being noticed for her work, her art and her life. Beyond the obvious she seemed a genuinely happy person. Yes; I dreamed for years of meeting this woman and just having a very cool, intelligent and relaxed conversation with her.

 I was able to have conversations with Miss Murray through viewing her work in galleries, articles and video interviews particularly PBS’s Art: 21. These were great but one sided. I wanted a real exchange of ideas with someone so honest and beautiful. I was certain too that she would have great advice, be both funny and charming while still possessing a somewhat vulnerable soul.

Elizabeth’s works are very enigmatic while still playful pieces. Like shattered stained glass shards, disjointed puzzle pieces or mix-matched cartoon or everyday objects they lovingly present themselves to the viewer. Her use of color is dominate and strong. The works are among the most inviting the art world has to offer. They are engaging, fascinating.

 I remember visiting a contemporary gallery with a couple of friends not long ago. We had enjoyed ourselves greatly and after spending time with Warhol, Calder, Johns and Stella I caught a glimpse of a Murray as we were leaving. There is a point that you have to leave a gallery (the spirit has been enriched and filled to over flow.) I still wasn’t able to leave without studying Murray’s effort. I asked them to wait just a minute for me to say hello to Elizabeth Murray. I walked over to the work and in my way said hello, soaked in a part of Murray’s joy, her spirit. She endowed much of herself into her art. It was a good moment. 

Elizabeth Murray; one of the most respected artist of her generation, left us in 2007. She died from complications of cancer. Her works remain. I always wanted to meet her…


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