Florida Artists Series: Selections from Anomie 1492-2006
Throughout his 65-year career as an artist and professor, Arnold Mesches has woven many narratives into lush and virtuosic paintings. Beginning in late-1989 and until mid-1996 Mesches created the ANOMIE series, paintings and collages that included overt and subtle references to the overlapping histories and multi-cultural aspects of life. The 48 large acrylic paintings and 150 collages encompassed postmodern concepts with old master techniques and structures. In these works, large canvases of cinematic proportions, nothing is overt, images move and mingle freely through time, find their place conceptually, independent of actualities. In a broader sense, they are the conceptual admixtures of reality and the surreal Mesches has been striving for over these many years of painting and activism. This series incorporated pertinent, often disparate, historical and personal images. It seems to be a summation of Mesches’ collected views on the world's madness and inconsistencies, on beauty and ugliness, evil and justice, on life over death. Mesches has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and abroad, most recently at PS1 Contemporary, the Museum of Modern Art affiliate. His works are included in the collections of such distinguished institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery, the Whitney Museum and the Hirshhorn Museum. Mr. Mesches has recently been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Florida in Gainesville.