Elizabeth Murray, a painter whose vivid, cartoon-based work was part of a contemporary movement away from minimalism, died yesterday of lung cancer. She was 66. A leading figure in the New York art scene, Murray won a MacArthur genius grant in 1999 and enjoyed a retrospective at MoMA last year.
A Chicago native whose family struggled with homelessness during her childhood, Murry was irrepressible painter whose work explored personal identity and domestic life. "The overall impression was of some inchoate yet invigorating crisis of the heart or hearth," writes Roberta Smith of the New York Times. Her mature pieces were eccentrically shaped canvases that combined the shattered forms of cubism, the biomorphic shapes of surrealism, and more than a little Disney-style humor, Smith writes.