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 Ed (Edmund) Paul, Jr. Mell  (1942 - )

About: Ed (Edmund) Paul, Jr. Mell


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Lived/Active: Arizona/New York      Known for: panoramic abstracted landscape, illustration, sculpture, teaching

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1942 (Phoenix, Arizona)
Arizona/New York

Photo by Jeff Noble

Often Known For
panoramic abstracted landscape, illustration, sculpture, teaching

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Painters of Grand Canyon
Biography from Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery:
Born in 1942, Ed Mell spent an idyllic childhood in what was then the small western city of Phoenix. He attended Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, and soon after graduation accepted a position in New York as an art director for a large advertising agency.

Seeking greater artistic freedom, he opened an illustration studio and met with immediate success, establishing his national reputation. Still, he felt that he hadn't yet found his voice as an artist.

Seeking a break from the city's pace, he accepted a teaching position the Hopi reservation in northern Arizona in 1970. Time spent on Arizona's Colorado Plateau reconnected Mell with the land he loved, and his artistic course was set. He relocated to Phoenix and began painting his well-known landscapes.

Mell's creative drive has led him to produce bronze sculptures and print series in addition to his oils. Ed Mell's work is found in many public and private collections including those of Tri-Star Pictures, Phoenix Art Museum, Kartchner Caverns State Park, Diane Keaton, Arnold Schwartzenegger and Bruce Babbitt.

Corporate Collections
Atlantic-Richfield Corporation, Los Angeles, California
Bank One, Phoenix, Arizona
Loew's Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson, Arizona
Mountain Bell, Denver, Colorado
Tri-Star Pictures, Hollywood, California
U-Haul Corporation, Phoenix, Arizona

Public Collections
City of Glendale, Glendale, Arizona
City of Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Arizona
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, Arizona
Kartchner Caverns, Southern Arizona

Private Collections
Forbes Collection
Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Babbitt, Washington, DC
Craig & Barbara Barrett, Phoenix, Arizona
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Coors, Golden, Arizona
Stephane Janssen, Scottsdale, Arizona
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Los Angeles, California
Diane Keaton, Beverly Hills, California

1982 Center of Modern Art, Guadalajara, Mexico
1983 Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach California
1984 The Nickolas Museum, Casper, Wyoming
1987 The Rockwell Museum, Corning, New York
1990, 1996 Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Scottsdale, Arizona
1988, 2000 Museum of the Southwest, Mesa, Arizona
1996, 2000 Kolb Studio, Grand Canyon, Arizona
2002 Phippen Museum, Prescott, Arizona

2003 Northern Arizona University Museum, Flagstaff, Arizona

2006-2007 Grand Canyon: From Dream to Icon, Tucson Museum of Art, AZ

2007 Arizona: A Millennium of Arizona Art, Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery, Tucson, AZ

Books and Publications
Beyond the Visible Terrain, The Art of Ed Mell, Northland Publishing
The Majesty of the Grand Canyon
Leading the West, Northland Publishing
Southwest Art Magazine
Arizona Highways Magazine
Who's Who in American Art

Biography from Broadmoor Galleries:
Southwest landscape painter Ed Mell makes his studio in a converted 1930s grocery store in the Coronado historic district of downtown Phoenix, just three blocks from the hospital where he was born in 1942. Hanging on the walls are works of by his favorite artists, including Maynard Dixon, whose cubic forms continue to be his main stylistic influence. Essentially an illustrator and commercial artist, Mell studied advertising and illustration at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles.

In 1967, Mell was employed as a junior art director at a major New York advertising firm. Leaving within a year, he and a friend opened their own illustration business in New York, with clients such as Cheerios and RCA. Three years later, Mell taught art classes one summer on the Hopi Reservation in northern Arizona, awakening a desire to return to the state. He and his brother opened an illustration business in Phoenix, while he attempted to make fine art paintings in his spare time.

While his paintings remain heavily planar, often employing theories of complimentary color, they were more minimal early on. He works from Maynard Dixon's Cubist stylistic concepts, sketches and photographs, often taking helicopter flights to photograph remote Arizona locations. Ed Mell comments, "I work from nature, and sometimes I push it a little further. Seeing the real thing has much more impact than a photographic representation of nature, so in order to duplicate nature, I like to push it a little further and bring back some of the impact that nature has in real life."

Biography from Mark Sublette Modern:
Ed Mell was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1942, and graduated from Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles in 1967. In 1968 Ed went to New York to work as an art director for a prominent advertising agency. The followeing year he opened up his own illustration studio in Manhattan serving some of the area's top editorial and advertising clients.

Being invited to teach a summer arts class on the Hopi Indian reservation, however, changed his life forever. The contrast between New York and the broad expanse of the open mesas had a strong influence on his direction and desire to return to his native state. Returning to Arizona in 1973, Ed began to develop his approach to painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpting the west. Working in oils, he has produced paintings of the deserts of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, California, Nevada and Mexico. Other subject matter includes figurative and florals.

His works are included in many private and corporate collections including the Forbes Collection,Tri-Star Pictures, City of Scottsdale, Kartchner Caverns State Park, Diane Keaton, Arnold Schwartzenegger, and Bruce Babbitt.

Biography from Southwest Graphics Collection:
Unique and contemporary views of the Southwest landscape are the focus of Ed Mell's work. He was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1942, and was educated at Phoenix College and Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles, California.

After five years of commercial advertising in New York City, he moved back to Phoenix to pursue an inner desire to paint the great American West.

According to Mell "I deal with those lasting impressions you have after driving through an area like Monument Valley. You remember basic forms, color and mood. The details are lost, but the image remains. The landscape is too dynamic to interpret realistically; therefore you must resort to exaggeration to capture its immediate power."

In keeping with his precise style, he takes the essence of the landscape and builds the mountains, mesas, canyons and clouds with dramatic architectural forms and luminous colors in his original stone lithographs and serigraphs.

His work can be found in publications including Art Week, Art Direction, Prints, Art Insight, Southwest Art, American Artist and Arizona Highways.

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