One Green Planet

One Green Planet

Event Date: 2019-11-01 17:00:00


Mark Messersmith has always been the greenest of Florida artists. His paintings explore a dense and tangled world that shows the beauty of the natural environment, and also highlights its fragility and vulnerability. Each painting develops an inventive narrative that strives to be eternal in scope and suggests we are witnessing the ruin of mankind. At times like this, when the news is filled with images of the Amazon burning, Mark draws on our protective instincts by presenting our own North Florida’s plants and animals threatened by the encroachment of human development on their environment.
Titles of some recent Messersmith exhibitions are illuminating in terms of his aesthetic orientation and green credentials: Mark Messersmith, Maximalist and Naturalist, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2012, Messersmith: Fragile Nature, The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami, Florida, 2012, Where have all the Birds Gone?, Zadok Gallery, Miami, Florida, 2013, Pay the Thunder No Mind-Listen to the Birds, and Hate Nobody, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas, 2017.
The roots of Messersmith’s narrative style go back a long way because of the influences he has chosen from art history. An unusual move for a contemporary artist, Mark has adopted some of the revelationist attitude of the religious illuminated manuscripts of the 15th Century. He has even adapted the manuscript artist’s tendency to embellish the central scene with frame images and a predella that continues the narrative outside the canvas. Also, he says he relates to a parade of 19th Century Northeastern American painters who came to the South and painted romantic visions of the southern landscape. including Martin Johnson Heade, George Iness, Thomas Moran and Winslow Homer.
Messersmith teaches painting and drawing at Florida State University. He has mentored countless students who have gone on to make a mark in the art world and the education of artists. Mark received a Joan Mitchel Award in 2006, and a purchase award at Le Grand Prix XXXIII Festival International de la Peinture, Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, Numerous Florida Individual Artist Fellowships, and two Southern Arts Federation, Regional Fellowships. He has a long solo exhibition record in addition to the recent Beauty and Vulnerability at Venvi Gallery.

Venvi Art Gallery
2901 E Park Avenue
32312 Tallahassee
United States

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