Murry Handler Artist Photo

Murry Handler in his studio

Murry Handler is exhibited nationally in both solo and group shows. His work appears in national and international juried competitions, most recently at Allied American Artists show at the National Arts Club in New York City; The National Color Award’ show in Stamford, Conn., juried by an Ass’t. Curator of the Museum of Modern Art; and the 23rd International Color Show in Summit, NJ, juried by the Ass’t. Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
His work is in private and corporate collections around the country and is being noticed and collected in Europe and Scandinavia.  He has been invited to participate at Art Point-Gumo, Macedonia 2008, Galariazero, Fuzhou, China 2007 and in Galariazero, Barcelona, Spain 2006.



A native of Bangor, Me., Murry Handler came to New York City at 19, to begin his art studies, eventually achieving a career as an award-winning illustrator and designer while continuing to pursue his fine art. He studied at The Franklin Institute of Art, figure drawing with Joseph Kelly at Pratt Institute and painting at the Workshop School, under the late Joe Hirsh. His teaching credits include The Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons School of Design, both in NYC.



Handler’s creative output has an exceptionally diverse range. Recognized primarily by his gestural abstract paintings executed with dynamic sweeping brushstrokes in acrylic on canvas, he also produces delicate filmy figural works on paper and canvas. His watercolors are conveyed in a brilliant palette, resulting in playful, spontaneous abstractions while large canvases are often swirls of stark black and white images. Inherent in all his work is a strong sense of vibrant movement.



Mr.. Handler’s painting has evolved from tight realism to flowing, turbulent expressionistic pieces. His ink paintings, available in limited edition serigraph prints, are executed with a bold black line on paper and canvas. They are highly suggestive of figurative art and influenced by Chinese calligraphy.


“No matter how many paintings I have completed, every painting is still an experiment to me. I don’t want to know how my painting will end, I want the surprise of finding the end, sometimes quite by accident.”



Currently he works from his Pittsboro, NC studio, where his creative activities include painting, creative writing and the art of Bonsai. Murry is a member of the following arts groups: Society of Illustrators, NYC;  FRANK Artists Collaborative, Chapel Hill, NC; Allied Artists of America, NYC; and Durham Art Guild.



I have been a working artist all my adult life, even in my teen years. I’ve worked across multiple aspects of the art field, from the paintings I exhibit now, back through graphic design and illustration. Labels that have been applied to my work by curators and critics include ‘minimalist’, ‘abstract expressionist’, ‘realist’, ‘Asian influenced’, and ‘gestural abstraction’. In all the work, whichever form taken, and whatever label applied, my goal remains the same: to have the viewer respond on an emotional level to what I am offering.

“My work has been evolving more and more in recent years into social commentary as I respond to the flood of communications and images that reach me about world and local events, i.e., women’s issues, race relations, politics and despoiling the earth.



“I frequently prefer to limit my palette to black and white. This forces both me and the viewer to be mindful of the essential details on the canvas or paper– the weight or emphasis of a finely painted line, the brushstrokes, the intensity of the paint, etc.



“I’m proud to be an artist whose work has been exhibited, purchased and publicly displayed by corporations, arts groups and individuals around the globe.”



Murry has generously donated 2 limited edition prints to The ArtsCenter’s Silent Auction, on display throughout the month of June in the Nicholson Gallery.  To place a bid for these artworks, visit our box office  or call us at (919) 929-2787.  Bids starting at $100 per piece will be accepted until 5PM on June 28th.

Murry Handler - Leap Frog

Murry Handler – Leap Frog

Murry Handler - Landscape with Cabin

Murry Handler – Landscape with Cabin

Learn more about Murry and his work at