Lost Garden of Hesperides
Fri, Sep 3, 2021 - Mon, Oct 18, 2021
2901 E Park Ave Unit 2800 Tallahassee, FL
Venvi Art Gallery is pleased to present Mark Messersmith’s third solo exhibition with the gallery titled, “Lost Garden of Hesperides”. Mark Messersmith’s electrifying compositions meditate on the beauty, chaos, and tragedy that exists in our modern environments. While technological advancements have made human life more convenient and comfortable, the natural landscape and its inhabitants are too often violated and left to deal with the consequences we created for them and in return, for ourselves as well.
The stunning paintings not only captivate the viewer but also address difficult and dark subjects. In these paintings, Messersmith uses brilliant complementary colors that make the ecosystem and its inhabitants seem as if they are glowing. Additionally, he paints with such movement that it doesn’t take much to imagine the creatures running or flying out of the decorative frames and into the gallery. It is in this manner that he brings the viewer in until they realize the interwoven beauty and tragedy within each scene. Messersmith explains, “My work is really about our relationship to all other living creatures at this precarious moment, a place midway between hope and despair.”
The flora and fauna of Florida fill his compositions, from magnolia trees and alligators to luna moths and black bears. His paintings are inspired by these creatures, their habitats, and the difficulties they encounter in our anthropocentric world. He also pulls inspiration from 19th-century American artists such as Martin Johnson Heade, George Inness, and James Audubon, who came to Florida after the Civil War and painted romanticized versions of the landscape.
Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Messersmith has been a longtime resident of Tallahassee. His work has found homes in many permanent museum collections and earned him numerous awards including a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painting Award, a Le Grand Prix XXXIII Festival International de la Peinture Purchase Award, and several Florida Individual Artist Fellowships.
The Lost Garden of Hesperides will be on view in the gallery from September 3rd until October 10th.