Exhibition News: EM at Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zurich
Elizabeth Murray - When the House is Quiet
Curated by Samuel Gross
February 19-April 2, 2016
"The paintings of Elizabeth Murray mark a strange point of fusion between pop and abstraction. This oeuvre, far too rarely seen in Europe, is precious, for it seems to condense in itself the vitality of a moment, a time that saw the pictorial practice change space and narrative systems, feeding itself particularly from raw energy coming from the street and comics. Her painting invades space, cutting itself into fragments of joyful and noisy stories. The world seems to become agitated in the quiet of the studio.
Elizabeth Murray has often said that the center of her life was painting, but also that it had gained everything from accommodating to the rest of her life as a woman. Her work reflects it. If her paintings have the delicate texture of familiarity, the smiling flavor of shared moments, often monumental, they are anything but trinkets. They dissipate an unparalleled energy into the walls, seemingly appearing in a suspended state for the time being, yet still available for other experiments. Her paintings find balance in disorder and improvisation, much like our daily lives.
In poetry, simple everyday life gestures can open up human history by allowing everyone to innervate a distant and cold tale. Similarly, if Elizabeth Murray’s big shaped canvases may take the form of a cup of coffee, they aren’t in any way anecdotal. They want to share with the viewer the vertigo of the sonority of colors and the rustle of forms, going through the history of painting, playing with multifarious styles and schools, letting themselves be filled with life and curiosity. This exhibition brings together an important series of works, spanning different periods and media allowing us to distinguish the extent to which the work of Elizabeth Murray is irreducible. Painting finds its own realm, slightly at odds, yet with a foot grounded in imagination." - by Samuel Gross
About Elizabeth Murray.
Elizabeth Murray was born in 1940 in Chicago. She died in 2007 in New York. She had a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2006, she received a MacArthur Genius Grant in 1999, her work is included in the group show “Painting 2.0: Expression in the information age” currently on view at the Museum Brandhorst in Munich which will travel to Mumok in Vienna. This is the first exhibition of her work in Switzerland and the first solo gallery show of paintings in Europe.
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