Howard Mehring was one of the most important members of the Washington Color School. A student of Kenneth Noland, who was one of the best known contemporary American Color Field painters, Mehring shared a studio from 1956-1958 with fellow Washington Color School painter Thomas Downing. With the fortuitous patronage of noted collector Vincent Melzac Mehring was able to devote himself entirely to painting. Mehring was additionally fortunate to have the support of the influential art critic Clement Greenberg, who included Mehring in his exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum in 1964 entitled "Post Painterly Abstraction".
"I want the surface of my paintings to breathe . . . color."
—Mehring, in The Washington Post, October 21, 1962
Brilliant Corners is a product of Mehring's most prolific period. Beginning in 1961, he created canvases of symmetrical geometric images, both structured and lyrical. Mehring's underlying geometry is further enhanced by bright colors that delineate the sharply defined, hard-edged square shapes. He was fortunate to have the support of the influential art critic Clement Greenberg, who included Mehring in his 1964 "Post Painterly Abstraction" exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum-one year before this canvas was painted. His thick paint accentuates the interplays between the dazzling colors and the rigid shapes. The overall composition is spirited and compelling.
A.M. Sachs Gallery, New York
Mr. & Mrs. Albert and Vera List, Greenwich, CT
Private Collection, gift from the above, circa 1980