Arnold Mesches: A Life’s Work

February 14–May 4, 2013

February 14–May 4, 2013

Museum of Art and Design at MDC

Arnold Mesches: A Life's Work

A comprehensive retrospective curated by art critic, curator, and author Kim Levin that spans Mesches’s illustrious career on the threshold of the artist’s ninetieth birthday, Arnold Mesches: A Life’s Work showcases more than sixty-five important works from several of his fourteen series. The exhibition includes works on loan from the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the San Diego Museum of Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, along with many others.

Born in 1923 in the Bronx, Mesches was raised in Buffalo, New York. In a career that spanned some seventy years, he grappled with the artistic, cultural, and political movements of the past and present centuries. He survived the McCarthy witch hunt in California, where he worked in the film industry, taught himself to paint, and organized civil rights protests, as all the while the FBI stealthily engaged in amassing files on his everyday activities. After moving to New York in 1984, Mesches—already in his sixties—began showing at the young East Village gallery Civilian Warfare. In 2002, he relocated to Florida to teach painting at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he lived with his novelist wife, Jill Ciment. His work is in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Art, The Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum, and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, among others.

Arnold Mesches: A Life's Work is supported by The Musikatow Foundation.