Sunday, January 01, 2017

Elizabeth Murray: Paintings and Drawings (1987)

I had never heard of abstract artist Elizabeth Murray (1940-2007) before I picked up my friend John's copy of Elizabeth Murray: Paintings and Drawings (1987), the companion publication to a retrospective exhibition of her art held at the midpoint of her career. If you are also unfamiliar with her, you can check out some of her work here.

The book begins with some introductory essays on Murray's paintings and drawings, followed by a section of reproductions, each annotated by the artist, and ending with a long interview with Murray. While I'm not sure that her work speaks to me 100% (and, honestly, I get the feeling that you need to see her work in person and not in small prints in a coffee table book), being able to read her annotations about her process and the thoughts behind the images was fascinating. Particularly in the world of abstract art, being able to combine your own response to the work on the page with the intention and process of the artist adds a real depth to the artwork.

I will be the first to admit that I don't know as much about art history and contemporary artists as I should, so I'm very happy that this collection fell into my hands!