ABOUT FREDERICK MERSHIMER

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Frederick Mershimer

b. 1958

Frederick Mershimer was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania. He received a BFA in painting from Carnegie Mellon University in 1980. In 1982 Mershimer moved to New York City and continued his studies at the Parsons School of Design, Pratt Graphic Center, and Manhattan Graphic Center.

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. His mezzotints speak to both the grit and grandeur of the modern American city.

To translate his visions he has chosen mezzotint- a tonal medium capable of achieving rich blacks and subtle gradations of grays. This painstaking technique requires the artist to spend long hours preparing the “texture ground” on the copper plate before the detail work of the actual image can begin. This preparatory work is done using a curved serrated blade called a rocker.

Mershimer work is in many collections including The Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC; Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; Museum of the City of New York, NY; National Museum of American Art/Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; New Orleans Museum of Art, LA; Queens Museum of Art, NY; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. His works have also been acquired by the Georgetown University Art Collection, Harvard's Fogg Museum, Library of Congress, New York Public Library, University of Arizona, and the University of New Mexico.

"My images explore the dynamic between the city's architecture and our place within this imposing environment. Never truly understanding the world and my role in it, I find a sense of control by creating dramatic settings where events can unfold. I have always enjoyed night because it was 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."

WORKS BY MERSHIMER FREDERICK