Elizabeth Murray

Children Meeting
1978

Not on view

Elizabeth Murray forged a distinctively exuberant vocabulary using lines, shapes, and colors associated with comic strips as well as a simplicity of form derived from reductive abstraction. Children Meeting was made at a time when Murray was consolidating her visual language. As she recalled, the painting “grew out of a confidence about being able to lay down the colors and put in the goofy shapes that were beginning to emerge. . .I’d never allowed myself to use that zany purple; it’s a very hard color because it doesn’t have a clear emotion for me.” Murray’s comment implies the importance of psychological associations in her work; equally significant is the implicit presence of the figure, even in paintings that seem resolutely non-representational. Small children engaged in joyous, boisterous play can be discerned in the jostling green and pink forms of Children Meeting, which Murray produced when she was a young mother, witnessing such play every day.

Artist
Elizabeth Murray

Title
Children Meeting

Date
1978

Classification
Paintings

Medium
Oil on canvas

Dimensions
Overall: 101 3/16 × 127 in. (257 × 322.6 cm)

Accession number
78.34

Credit line
Purchase, with funds from the Louis and Bessie Adler Foundation, Inc., Seymour M. Klein, President

Rights and reproductions information
© Estate of Elizabeth Murray / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Audio

  • America Is Hard to See, Kids

    Elizabeth Murray, Children Meeting, 1978

    Elizabeth Murray, Children Meeting, 1978

    0:00

    Narrator: Zip, zoom, boing!

    Even before looking at the title of Elizabeth Murray’s oil painting, the bright, zany colors probably give you a joyous feeling. This is NOT the mood you’d have after being stuck inside on a horrible, rainy day.

    Instead, Murray’s color blocks, blobs and zigzags show the exuberance of Children Meeting—maybe on a playground—just as the title says.In fact, imagine these shapes were kids—what would the pink line say as it ricocheted past the goofy purple shape?

    Hey! Hi there! Gotta go!



Images and Permissions