Herman Maril: Aspects of the Figure
Artwork from 1932-1985
Solo Exhibition November 6 – 16, 2017 Harmon-Meek Gallery
Herman Maril was born in 1908 in Baltimore and pursed art from an early age with formal training at the Maryland Institute of Fine Arts. After working on federal art projects during the Depression and serving in World War II, he began a 30 -year period as an art professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. Today, the student gallery and work-on-paper library research room at University of Maryland are named in his honor.
Maril did much of his painting in Baltimore or during summers on Cape Cod, Massachusetts where he was discovered by Duncan Phillips, founder of the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. The Phillips Collection has 13 works by Maril in their permanent collection – all can be viewed online at phillipscollection.com.
Early fans of Maril’s work included Eleanor Roosevelt (who displayed his sketch of Baltimore harbor in the White House) and Vice President Nelson Rockefeller (who kept a Maril canvas in his Washington DC mansion). Walter Mondale selected a Maril painting from the Smithsonian American Art Museum to hang in his office when he was Vice President.
During his lifetime, Maril received critical acclaim, numerous awards and had over 50 solo exhibitions in galleries and museums around the country. Today, Maril is in the permanent collection of over 100 museums including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Boston Museum Of Fine Arts, , the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Butler Institute of American Art, The Provincetown Art Association Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Walters Art Museum, and the Loos Gallery at the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples.
“The sources of my work have been a response to nature and the world around me,” Maril stated. “I am interested in the language of paint, and my ideas must be expressed in terms of space concept on the plane of the canvas. I want my paintings to have an organic oneness, which should be the result of a constantly growing understanding and feeling for the lyricism possible in the plastic units of the picture struggle.”
Dr. Louis Zona, executive director of the Butler Institute of American Art said “Maril personifies the art of this country at mid-century, highly individualistic, expressive and rich in social relevance. Maril represents the innovative spirit of an American painter who, while fighting the overwhelming influence of Picasso’s cubism and various European expressionistic modes, pounded out an American vision inspired by the uniqueness of this culture. Our admiration for the talent of Herman Maril could not be greater, for in him we see the very best America has to offer.”
The late Charles Parkhurst, deputy director and chief curator of the National Gallery of Art said “In his later years, Maril’s paintings became more effortless in appearance, broadly simpler, yet in detail more delicate and more balanced, and with color that is more functional in pattern as well as depth.” And in 1983, three years before Maril’s death, Harry Rand, a curator at the National Museum of American Art, said of Maril “those who have seen his paintings have met him unknowingly. His works present a complete and accurate knowledge of the man whose character and tender humanity are so well represented by the envoy of his art.”
Harmon-Meek Gallery has represented the estate of Herman Maril since 1989. The Harmon-Meek Gallery opens for their 55th Season in Naples with the one-man show of figurative works by Herman Maril. The exhibition will run November 6 through November 16th with hours of 10 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday at 599 Ninth Street North in Naples. Free.
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