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Elizabeth Murray: Back in Town

June 12 – October 3, 2021

UB Anderson Gallery

Elizabeth Murray outside her home/studio at 77 Woodlawn Avenue, Buffalo, NY (c. 1965) as photographed by Don Sunseri. © 2021 The Murray-Holman Family Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


This summer the University at Buffalo Art Galleries presents the first major posthumous exhibition of work by pioneering painter Elizabeth Murray (1940–2007). This survey will span both floors of UB Anderson Gallery presenting a fresh look at important themes and motifs of Murray’s five-decade career.

Elizabeth Murray: Back in Town plots Murray’s career chronologically, including paintings, drawings, and prints that reveal how the early, never-before-exhibited works she made while based in the San Francisco Bay area and later in Buffalo, relate to the mature painting style that earned her critical acclaim.

The impact of the two years Murray spent in Buffalo working and teaching at Rosary Hill College (now Daemen) has previously been a footnote in her legendary career and treated as a two-year stopover during her move from San Francisco to New York City. Yet this closer look proves that the Buffalo period didn’t just serve as an extension of her formative years. In Buffalo, as Murray acknowledged herself, her work “changed radically,” setting her on a path to become the bold painter known for her wildly shaped canvases—a mix of abstraction and cartoonish figuration. Fortuitously, this survey coincides with the 55-year anniversary of Murray’s solo exhibition at the Tomac Gallery, an artist-run gallery in Buffalo, which ran continuously from 1965-1969.

Elizabeth Murray: Back in Town is organized by Robert Scalise, Director, UB Art Galleries in partnership with The Murray-Holman Family Trust, New York. Generous support for this exhibition is provided by Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels, Charles Balbach, and Kate and Steve Foley.

Visiting UB Anderson Gallery:

Please be prepared to complete UB’s Daily Health Check and share your contact information upon entry, and wear a mask during your visit. For maps, hours, and parking information at UB Anderson Gallery, head to our VISIT page.››

Elizabeth Murray Activity Book

With help from Rachel Shelton at Mirabo Press, we’ve created an Elizabeth Murray: Back in Town Activity Book! You can download and print a copy from home, or pick one up at the gallery!

Open the Activity Book ››