Robert Murray is acknowledged in Canada and the United States as one of the fathers of large-scale abstract metal sculpture. Born in Vancouver and educated in Saskatchewan, Murray relocated to New York City in 1960 during the height of Abstract Expressionism and the rise of New York as the worldwide center of the artistic cutting edge. Becoming quickly affiliated with the leaders of the famed New York school, most notably Barnett Newman and Clement Greenberg, Murray garnered international acclaim for producing unique sculptural works during an artistic period that championed painting.
Murray’s practice matured in the late 1960’s and 70’s during a proliferation of commissions from public and corporate institutions that supported the increased production of large-scale artworks. He was a member of a group of artists who pioneered the use of industrial metal materials at monumental scales. His iconic, brightly colored metal sculptures now dot the North American landscape. Murray’s sculptural works are recognized for their unique experimentation with color, volume, and form.
Murray was the subject of a major retrospective at the National Gallery of Canada in 1999, and received the prestigious Order of Canada in 2000. His work may be found in the public collections of major institutions including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.