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Joseph John Paul Meert (American/Belgian, 1905–1989)
LOT ID: 66430
Untitled, 1950

Oil, on Canvas
24.75 х 37 х 1 in. (62.86 x 93.98 x 2.54 cm.)
Signed, and dated 1950, lower right.
Lot description
With a vivid palette and dynamic sculptural forms, this signed oil on canvas painting exquisitely captures the expressionistic style of renowned artist JOSEPH MEERT (1905-1989). This mid century piece is a significant work as it marks the transition from the artist's period of geometric abstraction in the 1940s to more lyrical abstraction and expressionism of the 1950s.

Born in Brussels, Belgium , JOSEPH MEERT(1905-1989) emigrated to the U.S. at the age of five. He studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, where he became a protege of Thomas Hart Benton. Meert later taught at the Institute from 1935 to 1941. During the 1930s he was a WPA (Works Progress Administration) artist, and, like many of his contemporaries, he would go on to become an abstract painter.

Meert became a mentor, teacher and close friend to Jackson Pollock, and in fact is known as the artist who famously saved Jackson Pollock's life. However, unlike other former WPA artists who would see success in their own lifetimes - like Jackson Pollock, Philip Guston, Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko, Meert struggled financially throughout his life. Only posthumously has Meert's important role in the development and history of abstract expressionism been acknowledged, as there as been renewed critical and marketplace interest in this fine artist's life and work.

Framed, the work measures 24.75 by 37 inches.

Select Public Collections:
Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC)
Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Indianapolis Museum of Art (Indianapolis, MN)

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