Born and raised in New York City, Murray Reich attended City College and received his M.F.A. in Painting from Boston University. As a younger artist, he attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and studied at Hunter College with Robert Motherwell and Richard Lippold.
Following his first solo show in New York at Max Hutchinson Gallery, Reich was awarded a Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship. His work was exhibited in two Whitney Annuals, as well as solo shows and group exhibitions.
Reich was Professor Emeritus of Painting at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, where he taught for 25 years. He served on the faculty of the Graduate Program in Art at Hunter College in New York. He was the inaugural director of Tanglewood's Summer Program in Art in Massachusetts, and also taught at Boston University.
Reich lived and worked in New York City and Mt. Tremper in upstate New York, where he was involved with several long-standing interests, including fly-fishing and playing squash. Beginning in 2003 he pursued his "Arrow Project," taking street photographs that offered an interesting counterpoint to his paintings.