About the Artist
“If ultimately we are reminded as much of Dali as of Baselitz, we have hit on the factor that sets Messer apart from other Neo-Expressionists. He has developed a fundamentally surrealist mode, in a combination that bears many of the strengths of both styles. When he really brings them together at a high pitch, you know that you’re looking at painting that has gone over some kind of edge, and one that is very likely to become still more interesting with time.” – Holland Cotter, Art Critic for the New York Times
“Messer may be mapping out new, 20th century terrain within Edmund Burke’s and Friedrich von Schiller’s 18th century notion of the terrifyingly sublime: the terrifyingly pitiful. His sympathy for the horrors residing in the human mind seem boundless.” – Gerrit Henry, Art in America
Sam Messer (American, b. 1955) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. and is dean at the Yale School of Art. Messer received a B.F.A. from Cooper Union in 1976 and an M.F.A. from Yale University in 1982. His work may be found in public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Art Institute of Chicago, and Yale University Art Gallery.
Mr. Messer has received awards including a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant in 1984, the Engelhard Award in 1985, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant in 1993, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996. He has recently collaborated with the writers Jonathan Safran Foer and Paul Auster on The Story of My Typewriter, and with Denis Johnson on Cloud of Chalk. He serves as director of the art division of the Yale Summer School of Music and Art in Norfolk.