Melissa Meyer -Walk the Line, 2011 -

Melissa Meyer

United States 1946


Melissa Meyer
Melissa Meyer
United States
December 19, 2016
Balasz Takac is alias of Vladimir Bjelicic who is actively engaged in art criticism, curatorial and artistic practice.

For the several decades, Melissa Meyer produces abstract paintings with the particular focus on optical and compositional aspects within the canvas. Her artistic beginnings are associated with the feminist practice and therefore the notable agenda of hers was to introduce woman painting. As the time passed by her activity as an artist and educator was growing she remained true with the initial principles, yet her abstract concepts were changing in direction of experimenting with form and style.

The artist is not using Facebook but on her web page you can find news
Melissa Meyer -Yaddo series I, 2010 – image via

In a Search For The Artist Position

Melissa Meyer was born in 1946, in the Bronx and grew up in Queens. Her studies lasted in between 1968 to 1975 and during that time she conducted a scholarship in Provincetown Workshop. With the help of Helen Frankenthaler, Meyer visited artist community Yaddo in 1974 and experienced and gathered information about completely different approach to the educational and practical process. During the course of time, she became a frequent participant and even a board member. Besides that, the number of grants and residences is impressive including such is one from The American Academy in Rome or from the Pollock – Krasner Foundation. Thanks to her achievements Melissa Meyer was called to teach at the School of Visual Arts in New York where she still works.

The outline of compositional and optical elements

The news and information about the paintings from 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 are on the view in the Lennon gallery
Melissa Meyer – Caratina, 2011, detail – image via joannem

Grid Aesthetics of Forms in Motion

Abstraction is a daring and bold direction when it comes to painting since it derives on mapping imaginary gaps and transferring it on canvas. In the case of Meyer’s work, the task to maintain this rather modernist dogma, which is rooted in the opus of Wassily Kandinsky or Abstract Expressionism, is moved forward. She transposes peculiar shapes in motion, forms that are similar to some sort of primitive calligraphic marks. The grid as a base or a frame is just an underlying structure that she uses like any tool. Independently from the media of watercolors or oils, Meyer produces thick, yet transparent constellations consisting of floating and energetic forms.

The interplay of moving forms

Meyer is not using Twitter, yet in a privacy of gallery Lennon she creates events
Melissa Meyer – Back to Black VII, 2012 – image via


The rise of the feminist movement in the early 70’s opened a series of questions in regards to the segregated position of woman in patriarchal society. That has reflected the arts in particular and significant essays were written in order to determine why there are no great woman artists, what is female art, etc. During that time Melissa Meyer in collaboration with Miriam Schapiro wrote a text called Femmage within then influential Heresies article. They have introduced femmage as a type of art that was made by the use of materials like cloth, paint, and fabric which had long been associated with women’s activities in the home. According to them, the style undermines the woman heritage and simultaneously recalls quilting and Cubism and has a woman-life context and that it celebrates a private or public event.

In recent years the forms became even more purified

According to special policy of Lenon gallery in Weinberg you have to contact the artist
Melissa Meyer – Draw the Line, 2015 – image via hyperallergic

The Murals

By the 2000’s Meyer was rather established and prominent figure so was summoned to manage commissioned murals. That period is interesting in the light of Meyer’s departure from painting to watercolors and her beginnings of working with Photoshop as an aid in the composition of the murals. Among important murals was the one done for Shiodome City Center in Tokyo. After that came a commission for the Queens Hospital Center and the Peninsula Hotel in Shanghai.

The works of Meyer are recognizable from large scale to smaller formats

In December the curator David Smith included the artist’s works for the exhibition in Lenon gallery and his page
Melissa Meyer – Double Feature, 2015 – image via

Earned Recognition

The work of Melissa Meyer is included in a large number of both private and public collections from MOMA, over The Metropolitan Museum of Art to The Brooklyn Museum. Melissa Meyer had over 40 solo exhibitions, from 1976 onwards, and has also participated in numerous group shows. The continuity of her art practice suggests openness in regards to a search for new forms and relations between the elements within canvas, as well as subtle resistance and focus in regards to ever changing requests of the art market.

The artist is represented by IdeelArt.

Melissa Meyer lives and works in New York.

Featured image: Melissa Meyer – Walk the Line, 2011, detail – image via Gallery Intell
All other images for illustrative purposes only

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2014Melissa Meyer - Recent WorkLennon, Weinberg, Inc. New York, NYSolo
2013 The Annual: 2013National Academy Museum, New York, NYGroup
2012Melissa Meyer - Paintings and Works on PaperThe Garrison Art Center, Garrison, NYSolo
201213 Remix: Selections from the International Collage Center International Collage CenterGroup
2011Melissa Meyer - New Paintings and WatercolorsLennon, Weinberg, Inc. New YorkSolo
2011Contemporary Selections: Aligning AbstractionNational Academy Museum, New York, NYGroup
2010 Shifting the GazeThe Jewish Museum, New York, NYGroup
2009Melissa Meyer - New PaintingsLennon, Weinberg, Inc., New York, NYSolo
2009Melissa Meyer - New Paintings Nikola Rukaj Gallery, Toronto, CASolo
2009Before AgainLennon Weinberg, Inc., New York, NYGroup
2008 New Works Featuring Lincoln Center Print CommissionRebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OHSolo
2008Melissa Meyer - New Paintings Jancar Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2008The Maslow Collection at Marywood UniversityScranton, PAGroup
2007-8Melissa Meyer 1975 List Gallery, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PASolo
2007New Watercolors – two person showChapman Friedman Gallery, Louisville, KYGroup
2006-8 Melissa Meyer in Black and White: Works on Paper, 1984 New York Studio School, New York, NYSolo
2006 WatercolorsRebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OHSolo
2006Action PrecisionLennon Weinberg, New York, NYGroup
2005New PaintingsElizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2005 Paintings and Works on Paper Selby Gallery, Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, FLSolo
2005Riverhouse Editions: Master Prints...University of Denver School of Art, Denver, COGroup
2004New PaintingsRebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OHSolo
2004 Melissa Meyer: Color and the Cosmic Tree The Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, Phila., PASolo
2004Paint - KleinertJames Arts Center, Woodstock, New York, curated by Carol MarchGroup
2003 New PaintingsElizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2003Paintings and WatercolorsChapman Friedman Gallery, Louisville, KYSolo
2003 Melissa Meyer: Prints & Artist’s Books Emily Davis Gallery, Myers School of ArtSolo
2003AbstractNewYorkKlein Art Gallery, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2002 New WatercolorsElizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2002Hot WaxCummings Art Center at Connecticut College, New London, CTGroup
2001New PaintingsElizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2001College Proofs: The Riverhouse Editions Collection Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art Northwestern U., Evanston, ILGroup
2000 New PaintingsRebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OHSolo
2000Paintings from the 1990’sJill Platner, New York, NYSolo
2000Friendships in Arcadia: Writers and Artists at Yaddo in the 90'sArt in General, New York, NY & The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, NYGroup
1999Artists' Books Exhibit A, New York, NYGroup
1998 Watercolors from the Archer SeriesIbel Simeonov Gallery, ColumbusSolo
1998The Edward R. Broida Collection, A Selection of Works Orlando Museum of Art, FLGroup
1997Melissa Meyer: The Garner Tullis ProjectDeven Golden Fine Art, New York, NYSolo
1997Large Scale Abstract PaintingsThe Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NYGroup
1996Melissa Meyer Holly Solomon Gallery, New York, NYSolo
1996Melissa MeyerMiller - Block Gallery, Boston, MASolo
1996Melissa Meyer Montgomery Glasoe Fine Art, Minneapolis, MNSolo
1996Abstract Women Ibel Simeonov, Columbus, OHGroup
1995 Watercolors and MonotypesAllez les Filles, Columbus, OHSolo
1995The Permanent Collection: Recent Acquisitions San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA. Group
1994Melissa MeyerMiller-Block Gallery, Boston, MASolo
1993Melissa MeyerHolly Solomon Gallery, New York, NYSolo
0.1994PaintingNina Freudenheim Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Group
1993Melissa MeyerGalerie Renee Ziegler, ZurichSolo
1993Drawings in Black and White - Contemporary Works from the CollectionThe Museum of Modern Art, New York, NYGroup
1991Melissa MeyerHolly Solomon Gallery, New York, NYSolo
1991Black and WhiteNina Freudenheim Gallery, Buffalo, NYSolo
1990The Legacy of the Abstract ExpressionistsThe Gallery at Hastingson Hudson, NY. Group
1989The 1980's Prints from the Collection of Joshua P. Smith National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Group
1988Melissa MeyerJ.L. Becker, East End Gallery, Provincetown, MASolo
1988Brickhouse, Meyer, Miller, Utterback Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, NY. Group
1987Melissa MeyerR.C. Erpf Gallery, New York, NYSolo
1986Melissa MeyerR.C. Erpf Gallery, New York, NY Solo
1984Melissa MeyerExit Art, New York, NY Solo
1983Melissa MeyerDouglas College, New Brunswick, NJSolo
1982Melissa MeyerMilliken Gallery, Converse College, Spartanburg, SCSolo
1979Melissa Meyer Frank Marino Gallery, New York, NYSolo
1976Melissa MeyerThe Cornell Club of New York, NYSolo