Judith Murray was born in New York City in 1941. She spent much of her childhood in southern Florida living near the ocean and would go on to develop an affinity for it, spending many hours there almost every day. Due to a prolonged illness in her youth, Murray began painting and fell in love with oil paint itself and its sculptural qualities.
Murray moved to New York in 1958 to study at Pratt Institute where she earned her BFA. In 1963, she spent a year studying at the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, Spain before completing her MFA at Pratt Institute the following year. Following graduation, Murray was employed by the United States Information Agency as an artist-in-residence in conjunction with the "Grafica Americanska" exhibition held throughout Poland. Upon returning to the U.S., she accepted teaching positions at the University of Hawaii and the New York Institute of Technology; she would later teach and lecture at Long Island University, Pratt Institute, and Princeton University.
In the 1970s, she established herself as one of the pioneer artists in downtown Manhattan and transformed a large floor in a run-down factory building into a living/working studio in the neighborhood known today as Soho; Here, she would create her timeless abstract compositions. Murray began practicing Zen Buddhism in 1972, which served as a catalyst for her meditative works: Meditation is a key component to Murray’s practice.
Her solo exhibitions began in 1976 at the historic Betty Parsons/ Jock Truman Gallery, New York, followed by solo shows at the legendary Clocktower, New York; MoMA PS 1, New York; The Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Texas, among many others. Notably, her work has been included in the Whitney Museum Biennial, New York; Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Venice Biennale, Italy, and over 30 group museum exhibitions worldwide. Throughout Murray’s adult life, she has travelled extensively for research on art and crafts, including a dozen times to India, Asia, Africa, South America, and other areas.
Murray received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Academy Award for Painting and a National Endowment for the Arts Award. She was inducted into the National Academy in 2009, and have been a member of the American Abstract Artists since 1985. Her work is in numerous public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Whitney Museum, New York; The Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Walker Art Center, Minnesota; The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, among others.
Judith Murray continues to work and live in New York City and Sugarloaf Key, Florida.