I Sing To You

July 7, 2022October 7, 2022

Sam Messer's obsession with typewriters began in collaboration with the author Paul Auster but envolved as Messer began using the typewriter to explore how language is changing. In the paintings displayed here, Messer draws from the history of painting and contemporary issues to improvise on the underlying formal structure of the typewriter. Oil, acrylic, and spray paint are used to rework and alter the surface of the canvas until the typewriter transforms into a portrait. The three-dimensional layers of his materials along with the flattened perspective, interwine with each other, creating the illusion that the paint melts at the edges, while some of the typewriters tend to lose their form completely. The artist uses formal abstraction and his knowledge of the history of the improvisational artmaking to creat these works. 

Sam Messer (b. 1955, NY, NY) was part of the neo-expressionist movement in New York in the early 1980s. He holds a BFA from The Cooper Union (1976) and received an MFA from Yale University (1981). He was the Associate Dean of the Yale School of Art for twenty years and a Senior Art Critic at Yale for twenty-five years. His work has been exhibited internationally and is included in many public collections such as Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Boston Museum of Fine Art, and the Museum of Fine Art, Houston. He has been the receipt of many awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Louis Tiffany Foundation Grant, the Engelhard Award, and a Pollock-Krasner Fellowship. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.