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26.6.09

Summer at the Museums: Herman Maril @ the Walters

Another gem of a summer exhibit, Herman Maril: An American Modernist, will open at the Walters Art Museum on Sunday. Maril, a Baltimore native, taught in the University of Maryland’s Art Department for 37 years. His first exposure to modern art took place at none other than Etta Cone’s apartment at Eutaw Place. Etta and her sister Claribel’s collection is now the backbone of the Baltimore Museum of Art.

He was a part of the New York art scene of the 30s, befriending such artists as Rothko, Gorky, the Soyer brothers, and of course Milton Avery, with whose work, besides that of Matisse, he is most associated. In addition to the many Baltimore scenes that I became familiar with since moving here in the 80s, Maril also summered on Cape Cod beginning in the 30s, where he produced some of his best work, seascapes, sand dunes, and beach scenes.

It was on the Cape that Maril found his palette and simplified style of painting. Another painter who summered on the Cape with Maril and a kindred spirit is the NYC artist and long-time Parsons teacher, Paul Resika. Although Resika may be more polished, the similarities in their work are striking. Dialogue At Five, shown below, for that matter, a depiction of the Provincetown summer scene, resembles an early Alex Katz composition. Stop me before I connect again! The show is up through August 30th -- images of the installation on Flickr.


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