Elizabeth Murray

Children Meeting

Not on view



Oil on canvas

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

Accession number

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

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

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.  


  • America Is Hard to See, Kids

    Elizabeth Murray, Children Meeting, 1978

    Elizabeth Murray, Children Meeting, 1978


    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!

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