Framed: 57 1/4 x 56 3/4 inches
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 Ahlander, "Art in Washington: Light Dominates Manzur's Work," The Washington Post, October 21, 1962
Beginning in 1961 Mehring created canvases of symmetrical geometric images as in our Sienna Chroma which coincidentally dates from 1961. This striking all-over stippled abstraction is both structured and lyrical. The canvas has been "cut up" into neat squares and glued back together, a practice that marks the signature style of the artist. This underlying geometry is further enhanced by Mehring's bright colors that delineate the sharply defined, hard-edged square shapes. His thick paint applied here in a marbleizing effect accentuates the interplays between the dazzling colors and the rigid shapes. The overall composition is spirited and compelling.
Acquired directly from the artist
Estate of Ira Lowe