Catherine Murphy

Published by Skira Rizzoli in association with Peter Freeman, Inc.

Catherine Murphy has been celebrated as a representational painter of exceptional precision, and this, her first monograph, Catherine Murphy, surveys her complete work, which unites American Minimalism and American naturalist painting. Murphy has evolved a style that combines obsessive authenticity with Minimalist rigor. From the shaded lawns of the New Jersey suburbs to the Massachusetts woods, from childhood interiors to self-portraits and detailed images of buttons and dust, carpeted stairs, or a stuccoed ceiling, Murphy always paints and draws from life, often the domestic and quotidian. John Yau notes in his introduction that, “her attachment to the commonplace is not just amatter of convenience, of painting and drawing what she can see from her window or inside herapartment. In her choice of subjects—and I am speaking here of Murphy’s entire career, which stretches across five decades—the artist has made a conscious decision to stay true to both what she could observe and to her own working-class background, and the aesthetic choices that people of that milieuare constantly making, from illustrated calendars and inexpensive objets d’art to wallpaper andrefrigerator magnets.

About The Author

Catherine Murphy's work is represented in many public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, theHirshhorn Museum, and the Phillips Collection. She was awarded National Endowment for the Arts grants in 1979 and 1989, an Ingram Merrill Foundation Grant in 1986, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1982, and in 2002 was inducted a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Murphy was appointed senior critic in painting/printmaking at Yale in 1989.

Poet, art critic, and curator John Yau has published more than fifty books of poetry, fiction, and art criticism. He teaches at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Svetlana Alpers is professor emerita of art history, University of California, Berkeley.

  • Publish Date: April 05, 2016
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Art - Individual Artists - Monographs
  • Publisher: Skira Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 9-1/2 x 10-1/2
  • Pages: 192
  • US Price: $55.00
  • CDN Price: $55.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-4838-6


"Enjoy Catherine Murphy’s style of representational painting and her well-known precision in her first monograph including more than 100 paintings and drawings."

"The work of Catherine Murphy perfectly describes its time. Her paintings, which date back to the late 1960s, travel a scenic route across the planes of contemporary art. In Catherine Murphy by John Yau, we travel with Murphy through her illustrious career, which beautifully integrates two American artist mindsets: Minimalism and Naturalism. The results are nothing short of illuminating, like the early rays of the run as they peak over the trees and dry the morning dew off the lawn."

Author Bookshelf: John Yau