Elizabeth Murray

Untitled States (I-V)
1981

Not on view

Date
1981

Classification
Prints

Medium
Lithograph (a-e)

Dimensions
See components

Accession number
2008.274a-e

Series
Untitled States (I-V)

Edition
9/35

Credit line
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Susan and Arthur Fleischer

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

API
artworks/34747

In 1980, Elizabeth Murray began making lithographs. These works were related to her paintings, but drew on the intimacy of the print medium to highlight her interest in private and domestic subject matter. Murray was also fascinated by the evolutionary process of printmaking: an artist can carve an image into a stone, print it; carve further into that same stone, printing it again to produce a different “state” of the same image, and so on. In Untitled States I-V, she explored this progressive quality, creating a series of printed states of the same image. The work cannily admits the temporality of its making; resembling a film clip viewed as a stop-motion sequence, Untitled States I-V records the stages of the artist’s working process. The series also references Pablo Picasso’s 1945 Bull lithographs—a succession of works in which Picasso’s manipulations of the print plate transformed an academically-rendered version of the animal into an abstraction.