• Ben Messick - Softcover

    California Watercolor

  • $39.00


90 pages, by James R. Lafferty, Sr.

51 color illustrations, 50 black and white illustrations

Softcover - $39.00 

This book is the definitive biography of rediscovered artist Benjamin Newton Messick, 1891-1981. Messick was one of America's most important Scene painters and Modernists of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. His paintings and prints have been shown in over four hundred exhibitions including the Pennsylvania Annual in 1927; the Carnegie Institute, 1941; Grand Central Art Galleries in 1955 and the Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California in 1988. 

Bolton Colburn, Curator of the Collections, Laguna Art Museum, eloquently described Messick and his work best in 1988:

"What separates Messick's art from that of other American Scene painters is the evolution of his composition and paint handling. While development of the work of artists like Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood and Reginald Marsh reached a plateau and stopped. Messick's work continued to evolve. In fact, it evolved in the general direction that Modernism, the archenemy of American Scene painting was taking. That is, towards an emphasis on mark-making and process. In portraying the American Scene while extending its formal possibilities through paint handling and composition, Messick was the only artist of his time who stood on both sides of the "Janus-faced" 1930s and 1940s."

California Watercolor - California Art Book