Frederick Mershimer (American, b. 1958)
Moody, mysterious, majestic – these are some of the ways to describe the mezzotints of Frederick Mershimer. His images travel through the serenity of a Brooklyn neighborhood on a still night, rush past the frenzy of taxis jockeying for position around a New York cathedral, and parade down the fire-lit streets of New Orleans in its mythical Mardi Gras celebration.
The evocative realism he creates transports the viewer beyond first appearances to reveal the hidden beauty and vitality of his scene. 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 studied printmaking at The New School, Pratt Graphics Center (1984 – 1987) and Manhattan Graphics Center (1988 – 1992). He was initially drawn to the 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.
Mershimer’s works are included in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Cleveland Museum, the Corcoran Museum, Fogg Art Museum, Georgetown University, Library of Congress, the McNay Art Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, National Museum of American Art and the Whitney Museum.