Cahoon Museum: Herman Maril Exhibit PRESS RELEASE

Herman Maril Exhibition Opens at the Cahoon Museum of American Art

Driftwood, 1962, oil on canvas, framed dimensions: 31 ⅜ x 41 7/16 in., Herman Maril Foundation Collection

The Cahoon Museum of American Art in Cotuit, MA, announces a new exhibition of the work of 20th Century modernist artist Herman Maril (1908-1986). Herman Maril: The Strong Forms of Our Experience, which runs from August 17 through October 28, opens with a reception on Saturday, August 18 from 4:30pm – 6:00pm. The exhibition curator, Dr. Ann Prentice Wagner, Curator of Drawings at the Arkansas Art Center, and the artist’s son, David Maril, will be available to greet visitors and discuss the exhibition. The event is free of charge. A press preview with curator, Ann Wagner, and David Maril, Herman Maril’s son, will also be held from 10-11am or by appointment on Friday, August 17.

This comprehensive selection includes nearly 90 artworks, including watercolors, drawings, prints and selected paintings, and is accompanied by a four-color catalog available for purchase. The show continues the Cahoon Museum’s commitment to bringing excellence in scholarly art exhibitions to the region. The works on display are on loan from the Maril Foundation.

Maril’s artworks are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian Museum, among others. A four-color catalog prepared by Dr. Ann Prentice Wagner, Curator of Drawings at the Arkansas Art Center, accompanies the show. For those visiting the museum who would like to learn more about Maril, a reading area is available with historic catalogs and books. The exhibition is sponsored by the Eaton Vance Investment Counsel.

Herman Maril was an early modernist painter whose subjects range from urban landscapes to coastal seascapes. His work is nature-based, abstractly organized and simplified in form and content. It expresses the spare, but lyrical style of American Modernism.

The son of poor Lithuanian immigrants, Maril was raised and lived in Baltimore for most of his life. He began painting as a child and was a professional artist his entire life. He was educated at Maryland Institute, College of Art, and later he became a professor of studio art at the University of Maryland, teaching from 1948-1977. During the Depression, he was employed by the New Deal art programs, the Public Works of Art Project, and the Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture. After serving in WWII, Maril returned to painting and teaching full time.

He exhibited widely throughout his life, holding over 50 solo exhibitions in galleries and museums across the country. His artwork has been collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Whitney Museum, and the Phillips Collection, among others.

Although Maril’s oil paintings are widely known, he also mastered virtually all drawing media, including watercolor, gouache, artist crayon, pencil, ink, and ball point pen, all of which are on display in the exhibition. His brightly colored watercolor and gouache studies capture the vibrant sea and dunes, while the quick strokes of his ink sketches distill the essence of his subjects.

The exhibition includes works executed from 1929 to 1985 and seven periods of his artistic development are identified and explained by the show’s curator. An additional series of humorous postcards that Maril created while on the Cape are also on display.

Maril credits early French modernists, such as Cezanne and Braque, as his greatest influence and he remained steadfast in the pursuit of his artistic

Bluff and Sea, 1981, watercolor with pencil on paper, framed dimensions: 16 ¾ x 19 in., Herman Maril Foundation Collection

modernist form despite the burgeoning of Abstract Expressionism and then Pop Art in the New York art world.

The academic life allowed Maril and his family the opportunity to spend their summers in Provincetown’s artist colony and he befriended other well-known painters such as Mark Rothko and Milton Avery. In Provincetown, Maril painted daily, listening to classical music, first in summer rentals, and then in a studio he built after he purchased a home in 1948. He credited his uninterrupted summer studio work with allowing him to develop ideas that he would later use when he returned to the city. This comprehensive selection of works from his career includes many of his sketches and watercolors of fisherman, docks and beaches from his time in Provincetown.

For those wishing to learn more about Maril, a reading area is available at the museum with historic catalogs, as well as two books written for children by his daughter Nadja Maril, for which he created illustrations.

Cahoon Museum of American Art Announces Programs for New Exhibition Herman Maril: The Strong Forms of Our Experience

The Cahoon Museum of American Art announces a series of programs associated with the exhibition Herman Maril: The Strong Forms of Our Experience which runs from August 17 – October 28, 2018. Associated programming includes presentations on the Provincetown Art Colony in the 20th Century, art collecting, curator’s tours, and children’s activities.

Friday, August 17, 2:00pm – Curator’s Tour
“The Strong Forms of Herman Maril” with Curator, Dr. Ann Prentice Wagner
Free with paid admission; members free. To register call 508-428-7581 or email cmaa@cahoonmuseum.org

Ann Wagner, Curator of Drawings at the Arkansas Art Center, shares the story of Herman Maril, from his participation in the New York avant-garde art scene in the 1930s to his post-World War II paintings of gritty Baltimore streets and serene scenes of Cape Cod’s sand dunes, expansive skies, and quaint fishing boats. As part of the Provincetown art colony, Maril worked alongside such 20th century American artists as Milton Avery, Edward Hopper, Mark Rothko and others.

Saturday, September 15, 1:00pm – Children’s Workshop
“Write and Illustrate a Pet Story”, with Nadja Maril
$20; $15 for members, limited to 15 participants. To register call 508-428-7581 or email cmaa@cahoonmuseum.org

Writer Nadja Maril reads her stories of her father’s muse- his cat, Molly Midnight- and leads a workshop for kids where they will create a story from their pet’s perspective.

Saturday, September 29, 4:30-6:00pm – Panel Discussion
“On Collecting: A Partnership in Art” with Debra Force Fine Art and Dr. Michael Ballo, art collector
Free with paid admission; members free. To register call 508-428-7581 or email cmaa@cahoonmuseum.org

How is an art collection created? Hear from the industry experts at Debra Force Fine Art – the gallery that represents Herman Maril- and an avid collector on his experiences in art collecting.

Tuesday, October 16, 2:30pm – Scholar’s Panel
“Where Light and Water Meet Sky: the Provincetown Art Colony in the 20th Century,” with Christine McCarthy, Executive Director of Provincetown Art Association and Museum, and Dr. Melissa Renn, Collections Manager of the Harvard Business School Art and Artifacts Collection.

Free with paid admission; members free. To register call 508-428-7581 or email cmaa@cahoonmuseum.org

This panel will explore Herman Maril and his art in the context of other 20th century American artists who worked in the Provincetown art colony. The panelists will expand on how the community, environment, light, and landscape of the outer Cape shaped both Maril’s art and others who painted there, including Stuart Davis, Charles Demuth, Marsden Hartley, Karl Knaths, Edward Hopper, Milton Avery, Adolph Gottlieb, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, and Helen Frankenthaler.

Author: Mashpee Chamber of Commerce

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