For a better view of the website, update your browser.
Those browsers has new features built to bring you the best of the web.

Howard Mehring

American, 1931-1978


Howard Mehring

Brilliance, c. 1957

Magna on canvas
28 x 27 in
71.1 x 68.6 cm


Howard Mehring was born in Washington, DC in 1971, Mehring studied at Catholic University, completing his MFA in 1955. While at Catholic University, he met Kenneth Noland and Thomas Downing, both from the Washington Color School. Mehring and Downing spent the first few years after graduation sharing studio space. In the late 1950s, Mehring painted loosely in Magna acrylics, a medium most famously associated with such Color Field painters as Kenneth Noland, Morris Louis, and Helen Frankenthaler. As his art matured, Mehring turned to a more geometric format within which to deploy vibrant swaths of opaque color, and it is this style that has come to be most associated with his work. These hard-edge, vibrant compositions were well received critically, and Clement Greenberg included them in his groundbreaking 1964 exhibition PostPainterly Abstraction. The following year Mehring had his first solo show, at New York’s A.M. Sachs Gallery, and in subsequent years he was included in group shows at the Guggenheim and MoMA. In the late 1960s, Mehring abruptly ceased painting to focus instead on drawing. Mehring’s work can be found in the collections of Smithsonian, Whitney, Tate Modern, Guggenheim, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Hirshhorn Museum, and Philips Collection.