After earning her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1962) and an MFA from Mills College in Oakland, California (1964), Elizabeth Murray (1940 - 2007) settled in New York in 1967. Keeping with the spirit of the time, she abandoned painting in favor of interdisciplinary and multimedia works. In 1977, however, Murray resumed painting, and by 1976 had received her first one-person exhibition in New York at Paula Cooper Gallery. By the early 1980s Murray had become well known for her ability to transform cannily abstracted images of common items-coffee cups, tables, musical instruments and dogs- into lushly painted, animated low relief forms. Breaking with her early minimalist influences, Murray defined her own particular brand of representation as a balance between illusionistic painting and dimensional sculpture.
Her work has been in several of the Whitney Museum of American Art's Biennial Exhibitions (1973,1979, and 1985); a survey of her paintings and drawings was organized by the Dallas Museum of Art (1987), and a retrospective of her prints toured to museums throughout the United States and Japan (1990). Murray began printing with ULAE in 1985. Initially she turned to lithography as the closest approximation of her drawings but collaboration with poet Anne Waldman combined lithography and etching. By the 1990s she was working with ULAE staff to create prints that incorporate three-dimensional attributes to approximate closely the contours of her increasingly sculptural paintings.