Frederick Mershimer, American (1958 - )
Frederick Mershimer

Fred Mershimer was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania in 1958. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Carnegie Mellon University in 1980. After moving to New York in 1982, he further developed his talents in graphics and fine art printmaking through studies at the Parsons School of Design, Pratt Graphic Center and Manhattan Graphic Center.

Frederick Mershimer celebrates the experience of New York through his art.He creates an evocative realism that transports the viewer beyond first appearances to reveal the hidden beauty of the contemporary city.Before moving to New York, Mershimer was exclusively a figurative artist; but his attention was quickly diverted by the power and energy of the city around him.At first glance, his work can be interpreted as bold naturalism.Yet, he skillfully choreographs lighting and detail while altering perspective to draw the viewer’s attention to the essence of the piece.Mershimer’s mezzotints speak to both the grit and grandeur of the modern American city.

Frederick Mershimer received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, where he majored in painting and drawing. After moving to New York in 1983, he began to study printmaking at The New School, Pratt Graphics Center (1984 – 1987) and Manhattan Graphics Center (1988 – 1992). Mershimer was initially drawn to the slow, direct and laborious mezzotint process, because it echoed his approach to drawing. In 2007, Stone and Press published a catalogue raisonné of his work, titled Frederick Mershimer Mezzotints 1984 – 2006. In 2007, he received an Artist Fellowship Grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts, followed by a 2009 Individual Support Grant from the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation.

My images explore the dynamic between the city’s architecture, and our place within this imposing environment. Having always been unsure of how to understand the world around me, I find a sense of control by creating dramatic settings in which events can unfold. I enjoy night, because it is a place to escape the expectations of society and to reinvent one’s self. Through night scenes, I’m able to capture the city’s darker, more mystical and romantic undertones.

Using photographs I have taken of the city for reference, I construct scenes by eliminating objects or changing the perspective to better draw the viewer into the piece. Weaving together the disparate elements into a seamless quiet balance, I manipulate lighting and shadows, fine details, texture and other pictorial elements to conjure a sense of place and reveal the emotional core of my work.

The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, New York
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Historic New Orleans Collection, New Orleans, Louisiana
The Flint Institute of Art Flint, Michigan
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts
Georgetown University Lauinger Library, Washington, D.C.
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Kalamazoo, Michigan
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas
Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Molloy College Art Gallery, Rockville Centre, New York
Museum of the City of New York, New York, New York
The National Museum of American Art-Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.
New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana
The New York Public Library, New York, New York
Newark Public Library, Newark, New Jersey
Purdue University Galleries, West Lafayette, Indiana
Queens Museum of Art, Queens, New York
RISD Museum/ Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island
Spencer Museum of Art/The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, Florida
University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut
Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts
The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York
Zimmerli Museum, Rutgers University, New Jersey
AXA Group Gallery, New York, New York
Kitano Hotel New York, New York
New York Stock Exchange, New York, New York
The Reba and Dave Williams Collection of Prints, New York, New York
The College Board, New York, New York

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