The Essential Herman Maril



Opens at ACME Fine Art Friday, 18 March 2016

ACME Fine Art is pleased to announce our upcoming exhibition of work by Herman Maril, opening on 18 March 2016. This will be the third exhibition at ACME dedicated to this critically acclaimed artist, and will comprise a concise selection of paintings spanning the artist’s six-decade long career.

Herman Maril developed his signature lyrical and pared-down style early in his career. The works created in his last years at the Maryland Institute College of Art already display his acute ability to strip away unnecessary details and create a unified and balanced composition. Early in his career, the influence of Cubism—the work of Gris and Braque in particular—is evident. Soon, however, Maril developed his own modern idiom, one that has captivated critics and viewers throughout the decades.

Although Maril is most frequently associated with the artistic communities of Maryland—where he taught on the College Park campus for more than thirty years—and Provincetown—where he painted each summer in his East End studio—Herman Maril should not be thought of as a regionalist artist. His work addresses, in both style and substance, themes that are universal in nature. While in one sense they are timeless, in another they very much capture the spirit of the age in which they were created. Adelyn Breeskin, former Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art, observed “His rather quiet yet richly lyrical color and his always well composed compositions have a great lasting quality about them.”

Among the selection that will appear in the exhibition is a small, yet important, cityscape, entitled Viaduct, that Maril completed early in his career. The petit scene highlights Maril’s compositional ability, as he creates a dynamic and complete landscape, while referencing only simple shapes in a small format. Maril’s later domestic scenes have a comfortable joy and nostalgia to them. “The Telephone” is one such work. The composition is deceptively simple, but well balanced. Maril’s skill as a colorist is on prominent display in this work: the broad expanse of wall that dominates the composition oscillates with delicate, subtle shifts in color.

Maril’s work was first brought to public prominence when, after a chance meeting on Cape Cod in the 1930s, Duncan Phillips became one of Maril’s most significant patrons. Today the Phillips Collection holds thirteen paintings by Herman Maril. In addition to the Phillips Collection, Maril’s work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Academy of Design, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Baltimore Museum of Art, as well as many others. The centennial of his birth was commemorated with exhibitions at the Walters Museum of Art, Baltimore; the Provincetown Art Association and Museum on Cape Cod and the Ward Museum at Salisbury University in Maryland.

Both Maril’s exceptional continuity of vision and his fascinating evolution as an artist will be apparent in the upcoming exhibition at ACME. The show will draw works from all periods of the artist’s life, from the early 1930s to the 1980s. HERMAN MARIL opens at ACME’s 450 Harrison Street gallery on 18 March 2016, with an opening reception to be held in conjunction with SoWa’s First Fridays on April 1st. The exhibition will also be viewable online at