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 Walter Meigs  (1918 - 1988)

About: Walter Meigs
 

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Lived/Active: Connecticut      Known for: abstraction, collage, graphics

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Ad Code: 3
Walter Meigs
from Auction House Records.
Archeaological Find
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Butler Institute of American Art:
Walter Meigs (1918-1988)
(from an exhibition catalog Walter Meigs : A Retrospective published by Harmon Meek Gallery in 1983)

In June of 1951 Art d'anjourd Jui, published in Paris, devoted the entire issue to contemporary American Art.  Art reviewer Michael Seuphor wrote of his experience in New York which included two major exhibitions of American Art, one at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the other at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
He wrote, "Both were brilliant proof that it is inded abstract art that holds first place in the states, both for the number and the quality of works.  This is not only true in New York City, but throughout the country.  At the Metropolitan I saw abstract painting of unquestionable worth from 13 states.  This was a surprise to me, for young painters had spoken of this being an uninteresting grouping of out-of-date art. By chance I got there anyway. I have made a memorandum of the names of the painters whose work struck me as particularly interesting."
---Meigs, from Nebraska, was one of the 27 mentioned.

Walter (Pete) Meigs was teaching at the University of Nebraska at the time and his inclusion in the show alone provided a valued boost to his young career.  Two years later he was asked to head the Department of Fine Art at the University of Connecticut.  While at the University from 1953 to 1961 his work developed, became even more precise and purposeful, and his acceptance in the New York art world was established.

After leaving the University he spent time in Athens, Greece, the Bahamas, and Spain.  By 1968 he had settled on the Island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands.  The Canaries have provided Meigs with sufficient inspirations to keep him moving creatively.

Since 1965 most have come to know him for large acrylic canvases depicting his impressions of the sea, sky and land's end.  Most have also come to know him for stark contrasts of smooth, flat skies and heavily textured land masses.

Except for the shows he had Lee Nordness Galleries in New York City from 1958-1971, few know the other side of Meigs.  The linear compositions of flat Nebraska landscapes followed by the dark, introverted landscapes of the comparatively confined vistas of New England.  In addition to these oils on masonite, few know him for watercolors, gouaches, collages and ink washes depicting landscapes and even some figurative works.

Few know that he did a series of silk screen editions in the late 1950's as well as the interpolations of the early 1960's.

It is probably safe to say that most artists are complex thinkers and creators. Meigs is no exception.

Holdings :
Amherst College; ART USA NOW; Birmingham Art Museum; Boston Museum; Butler Institute of American Art; DeCordova & Dana Museum in Lincoln, Mass.; Denver Art Museum; Five Towns Art Museum in Massachusetts; Fort Worth Art Center; Lyman Allyn Museum in New London, Conn.; Morristown Jewish Center; Munson-Williams Proctor Institute; Ohio University Museum of Art; Pennsylvania State University; Philbrook Art Center; National Museum of American Art; Springfield Art Museum; Temple Emanuel in Boston; Library of Congress; Virginia Museum of Fine Art; Wadsworth Atheneum; and Wichita Art Center.

Exhibitions: (solo)
University of Nebraska 1952; Norwich, CT; Alan Gallery 1954; Westerly in Rhode Island 1954; Spectrum Gallery in Rhode Island 1955; Sturbridge 1956; Wesleyan University of Art Museum 1956; Lyman Allyn Museum 1956; Providence Art Club 1957; Dey Gosse Gallery in Rhode Island 1957; Mirski Gallery in Boston 1957, 1961, and 1963; Nordness Gallery 1958, 1960, 1962-1964, 1967 and 1971; DeCordova & Dana Museum 1959; Smith Museum in Springfield, Mass. 1959; Farley Dickinson College 1960; Oehlschlaeger Galleries in Sarasota, Florida 1965 and 1968; Sala Conca in Tenerife Spain 1971 and 1972; Melvin Gallery at Florida Southern College 1975; Foster Harmon Galleries in Sarasota Florida 1980, 1981 and 1983; Harmon Gallery in Naples, Florida 1966, 1968-1977; Harmon-Meek Gallery in Naples, Florida 1978-1983.

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