The countenance is the portrait of the soul, and the eyes mark its intentions. - Cicero
"I am a sculptor," King resolutely declares. This is more than evident in her precisely rendered, clearly observed cast bronze and porcelain heads, most of which are self-portraits rendered at half-scale. King, shy on the subject, has paraphrased artist Adrian Piper: Just because my work is autobiographical doesn’t mean it’s about me. Her “self” portraits are universally us.
The exhibition also includes sculpture installations that combine precisely movable figurative elements with stop-frame animation, blurring the boundary between actual and virtual object. Compass, the title of both the exhibition and a specific work, refers to the arc and range of King’s work over time, but also to the instrument by which one searches for direction – for the essence of self and that which is at the core of being. A compass is an object that even in its static state never truly stops moving – everything vibrates, everything trembles. I love the visceral evidence of impermanence, not in the object itself, but in its pose at any given moment.”
King’s work is in permanent collections nationwide including the Hirshhorn Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She has received a 2014 Anonymous Was a Woman award, a 2006 Academy Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a 2002-03 Guggenheim Fellowship, and a 1996-97 Fellowship in the Visual Arts at the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute, now the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard University.
King earned BFA and MFA degrees from the San Francisco Art Institute. She was a professor of sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University from 1985 to 2015. She lives and works in Richmond, Virginia.
 King, Elizabeth in “Performing Sculpture: A Conversation with Elizabeth King,” Sculpture Magazine, July/August 2009.