Armand Merizon: His Life and Art will open at the Muskegon Museum of Art on September 20th. The exhibition highlights the long career of the late Grand Rapids artist and is shown in conjunction with the recent release of a biography by the same name, written by his long-time friend and collector Muriel Zandstra. The public is invited to an opening reception and book signing with the author on Thursday, September 20th from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public. The book is available for purchase at the MMA Museum Store.
Armand Merizon (1920-2010) was a lifelong Grand Rapids painter remembered for his detailed landscapes and brilliantly colored abstractions. Though he had limited training, he turned his natural talents for observation and rendering into complex and intricate landscapes and illustrations.
Persevering Through Blindness
When Merizon began to lose his vision at mid-career, he moved in an abstract direction, presenting the landscape in bold strokes and vibrant colors, ultimately painting by intuition instead of sight. A founding member of the Grand Valley Artists organization, he influenced generations of West Michigan artists and was an active and supportive presence in the community.
Organized by the MMA, Armand Merizon: His Life and Art includes over twenty paintings from West Michigan collections. It highlights Merizon’s entire career, beginning with the precocious landscapes of his late teens and ending with the intuitive abstractions of his final years. The exhibition will travel to the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City, Michigan after it closes at the MMA on January 6, 2019.
Promotional support is provided by Michigan Artists Series Media Sponsor Blue Lake Public Radio. Program support is provided, in part, through a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Paintings of Armand Merizon: A Closer Look
Wednesday, October 17, 10:30 am
MMA Senior Art Martin will examine Merizon’s paintings over the course of the artist’s career. This program, presented by the MMA Friends of Art, is free and open to the public. Paid admission is required for exhibition gallery entrance.
Documentary Film Screening followed by Q&A with Muriel Zandstra
Thursday, October 25, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Armand tells the story of a nearly blind twentieth-century American artist, Armand Merizon. Using personal interviews, historic film footage, and over 100 of his paintings, this film traces Merizon’s search for truth and his portrayal of the social, political, and enviromental issues of the twentieth century. It is also a story of perseverance as he battled macular degeneration and rheumatoid arthritis. Despite his ailments, he vowed, “I will paint until my nose touches the canvas.” Director, Executive Producer, and close friend of Armand, Muriel Zandstra, will hold a Q&A following the film showing. Film admission is free and open to the public.
The Muskegon Museum of Art is located in Downtown Muskegon, Michigan at 296 W. Webster Ave. Call 231-720-2570 or visit www.muskegonartmuseum.org for visitor information.