Mark Messersmith’s ‘The Weight of Everything’ at Valley House Gallery

Mark Messersmith, “The Weight of Everything,” 2019, oil on canvas, carved wooden pediment, and mixed media predella, 87 x 62 inches. Credit: Valley House Gallery.

Beauty is all around you. Don’t believe me? Just check out the fantastic art by  Mark Messersmith, an artist who creates vibrant masterpieces that tell stories and breathe life into the viewer in a beautifully unique way. His latest work, “The Weight of Everything,” is now on display at Valley House Gallery.

This is Messersmith’s fourth solo exhibition for Mark Messersmith, including ten paintings that were featured in the exhibition “Precipice” at the Amarillo Museum of Art.

“Mark Messersmith’s paintings read like epic novels, full of richly conceived characters and vividly described vignettes that unite into grand and sweeping narratives,” said Peter Baldaia, Huntsville Museum of Art, in a recent press release. “His subjects are invariably focused on the interplay between fragile nature and careless humankind, played out in the sizzling scrublands and swampy backwaters of the Florida Panhandle, just beyond civilization’s reach. Messersmith’s mastery of painting is underscored in these works, which are laden with high-keyed color, dizzying perspectives, careening imagery, and virtuoso light effects. They are also clearly tied to the history of painting, with references that range from Late Medievalism to nineteenth century Romanticism to contemporary Outsider art. Part P.T. Barnum and part Walt Whitman and just as quintessentially American, Messersmith offers the engaged viewer a cornucopia of visual delights and a veritable banquet of savory food for thought.”

Messersmith earned an MFA from Indiana University in 1980, and he was awarded the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award in Painting in 2006. Among the museums that have collected his works are the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, Musée du Haut-de-Cagnes, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Tyler Museum of Art. His work was recently included in the exhibition “A Telling Instinct: John James Audubon & Contemporary Art” at the Asheville Art Museum in North Carolina. He recently retired from Florida State University in Tallahassee where he was a Professor of Art for 35 years. A comprehensive catalogue will be available.

See “The Weight of Everything” from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday at Valley House Gallery, through Feb.  27. Masks are required. This makes for a perfect Valentine’s Day activity or a bright way to cheer up a dreary winter afternoon.

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