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Private Gallery
CONNERMITH at Art Miami: Leo Villareal and Howard Mehring
Leo Villareal
Leo Villareal
  December 3-8, 2013
Midtown | Wynwood Arts District


booth B21

CONNERSMITH is pleased to announce a curated two-artist presentation of abstract paintings by Washington Color School innovator, Howard Mehring (1931-1978) and new works by leading digital light artist Leo Villareal (b. 1967) at Art Miami.


Howard Mehring is known as the "sleeping giant" of D.C.'s color field movement of the 1950-60's. Mehring and his colleagues Ken Noland, Morris Louis, Gene Davis, and Tom Downing applied thin layers of magna acrylic on unprimed canvas to create pictures that breathe color and luminosity. Gene Davis called Mehring "one of the premier painters" of the Washington Color School, and proclaimed, "In many ways he was the most lyrical of us all." Curator Walter Hopps asserted Mehring's painting style is "simultaneously delicate and bold" explaining, "The rare combination of these two aspects is also present in Jackson Pollock's work and has yet to be fully understood."

A rare early poured work by Mehring will be on view in the CONNERSMITH stand. We will also present a remarkable series of early stain paintings in Mehring's distinctive "all over" style along with excellent examples of his later geometric style.

Mehring's paintings were featured in landmark shows such as Post-Painterly Abstraction at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, curated by Clement Greenberg in 1964, and the 1966 Systemic Painting exhibition at New York's Guggenheim Museum curated by Lawrence Alloway. Mehring's work is held in many prominent permanent collections including the Tate Gallery, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.


Leo Villareal is a pioneer in digital art, who creates color field imagery by using the latest LED (light emitting diode) technology to explore pattern, color and tonality in light. Programming each sculpture with custom code that directs hundreds of LEDs, Villareal creates lyrical fields of color reminiscent of Color Painting. The artist imbues his abstract imagery with vital kinetic energy, enlivening the color field with sequences of pattern that evoke the generation of new life and suggest the emergence of behavior and personality.

In his new work Villareal reimagines colors and forms of the post-painterly abstractionists, including Frank Stella, Kenneth Noland, Howard Mehring, and Ellsworth Kelly. In each of these time-based digital sculptures he introduces temporal actions of light into traditional abstract imaging. Villareal explores extensive frameworks produced in serial paintings, such as the colorful concentric squares in Frank Stella's Scramble series. As the artist activates familiar static forms, he varies their color, definition, intensity, and duration. The imagery unfolds gradually, as if to reveal the live application of pigments, a process that color painters of the 1950s and 60s concealed in their canvases. As Villareal reconsiders post-painterly forms and colors in these new works, he re-conceptualizes the art historical category of abstraction and updates the modern aesthetic with digital color field imaging.

Villareal recently completed The Bay Lights, a 1.8-mile installation spanning the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, which is the world's largest LED light sculpture. His works are also in the following permanent collections: The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo, NY; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS; Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL; Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum, Kagawa, Japan; Jack S. Blanton Museum, Austin, TX; Arario Museum, Seoul, Korea; IFEMA, Madrid, Spain; The Margulies Collection, Miami, FL; and The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA.

CONNERSMITH will also present a concurrent solo exhibition of emerging painter Philip Hinge at CONTEXT Miami, booth E77.

Additional images and information: 202 588 8750/

will premier the new digital light sculpture "Double Scramble," 2013

Tuesday, December 3
VIP Preview 5:30pm - 10pm
Access for Art Miami VIP Cardholders & Press

Wednesday, December 4 11am - 7pm
Thursday, December 5 11am - 7pm
Friday, December 6 11am - 8pm
Saturday, December 7 11am - 7pm
Sunday, December 8 11am - 6pm

The Art Miami Pavilion Midtown | Wynwood Arts District
3101 NE 1st Avenue Miami, FL 33137
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