Herb Mears: Memoirs of a Mid-Century Master, a Fifty Year Retrospective

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From February 8 to March 21, Foltz Fine Art will be exhibiting Herb Mears: Memoirs of a Midcentury Master—A Fifty Year Retrospective.  Herb Mears (American, 1923-1999) is remembered as one of Houston’s most active and visible figures in the emerging art scene of the 1950s and 1960s. His story is one of drive and dedication, and his love of life, people, and simply being, can be seen and felt throughout his work. After serving in Europe during World War II, he returned to study with Fernand Leger in France from 1948-1950. At Atelier Leger, stylistic foundations were solidified as were his interests in figuration and architectural renderings. Originally from New York, Mears came to Houston in 1951 with fellow art student, David Adickes, that he met at the Atelier Leger. Together they opened a short-lived art school, and were among the first wave of postwar artists to carve their niche in the Houston art scene. Throughout his career, Mears taught at the Museum School of Art, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and was an intermittent adjunct at Rice University and the University of Houston. 

 

From the 1950s forward, Mears was prolific, showing his work at esteemed early Houston galleries, such as with Bute, DuBose, Wilhelm and Nolan-Rankin galleries. Like his contemporaries, Mears was a frequent exhibitor in the Houston Annuals, winning numerous awards, including the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Purchase Prize in 1959. Additionally, the artist showed works at the Delgado Museum in New Orleans and The University of Houston.  Herb Mears’ works can be found in many important corporate collections, including Humble Oil, Shell Oil, Mitchell Energy, Texas Instruments and Hines Interests. 

 

Almost twenty years after his passing, this retrospective exhibition takes a close look at the development of his work, displaying a wide breadth of works from the Estate, many which have not been publicly shown before, ranging from early works to some of his last. Amongst the works is an incredible grouping of late 1940’s works created during his time in Paris studying with Fernand Leger, the 1960’s figures and architecture that we relate to Mears, and also later fauvist-inspired cityscapes and landscapes.  

 

The exhibition will be on view February 8 – March 21, 2020, with an opening reception Saturday, February 8th from 6-8pm.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Austin, Texas by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Austin, Texas, c. 1980

oil on masonite

24 x 30 in (60.96 x 76.20 cm)

Blue Forest by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Blue Forest, 1990

oil on masonite

30 x 40 in (76.20 x 101.60 cm)

Far West by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Far West, 1988

oil on masonite

15.75 x 36 in (40 x 91.44 cm)

Greek Port by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Greek Port, 1984

oil on mill board

16 x 20 in (40.64 x 50.80 cm)

La Femme by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

La Femme

oil on masonite

32 x 24 in (81.28 x 60.96 cm)

Man with Hat and Birds by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Man with Hat and Birds, c. 1965

oil on board

36 x 24 in (91.44 x 60.96 cm)

Pierce Elevated by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Pierce Elevated

mixed media on paper

8.75 x 11.50 in (22.22 x 29.21 cm)

Red Mesa by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Red Mesa, 1988

oil on masonite

10.50 x 36 in (26.67 x 91.44 cm)

Siena Cathedral by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Siena Cathedral, c. 1985

oil on board

48 x 36 in (121.92 x 91.44 cm)

The Gymnasts by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

The Gymnasts, 1949

lithograph

9 x 6.75 in (22.86 x 17.14 cm)

The Long Road West by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

The Long Road West, 1990

oil on masonite

30.50 x 40 in (77.47 x 101.60 cm)

Twilight Over Town Square by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Twilight Over Town Square

oil on masonite

36 x 48 in (91.44 x 121.92 cm)

Untitled  by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled , c. 1949

graphite on paper

13 x 10 in (33.02 x 25.40 cm)

Untitled  by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled , c. 1949

gouache on paper

5.50 x 7.75 in (13.97 x 19.68 cm)

Untitled (Figure) by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled (Figure), 1949

graphite on paper

12.50 x 9.50 in (31.75 x 24.13 cm)

Untitled (Seated Figure) by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled (Seated Figure), c. 1949

graphite on paper

7.50 x 5 in (19.05 x 12.70 cm)

Untitled Figure by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled Figure, 1949

graphite on paper

11 x 8.50 in (27.94 x 21.59 cm)

Venice by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Venice, 1997

oil on masonite

16 x 21 in (40.64 x 53.34 cm)

Moon Over Ridge by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Moon Over Ridge, c. 1988

oil on board

30 x 48 in (76.20 x 121.92 cm)

Bathers by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Bathers, 1949

graphite on paper

10 x 8 in (25.40 x 20.32 cm)

Blue Hills by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Blue Hills

oil on masonite

30 x 24 in (76.20 x 60.96 cm)

Figures with Umbrella by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Figures with Umbrella, 1986

oil on masonite

14.50 x 13.50 in (36.83 x 34.29 cm)

Headdress and Dog by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Headdress and Dog, c. 1965

oil on masonite

46 x 28 in (116.84 x 71.12 cm)

Man Listening by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Man Listening

oil on masonite

8 x 10 in (20.32 x 25.40 cm)

Night Reflections  by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Night Reflections , 1997

oil on board

10 x 16 in (25.40 x 40.64 cm)

Pierce Elevated Blue by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Pierce Elevated Blue

mixed media on paper

10 x 14 in (25.40 x 35.56 cm)

Rio Grande   by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Rio Grande , 1989

oil on canvas

48 x 48 in (121.92 x 121.92 cm)

South of Alpine by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

South of Alpine, 1988

oil on masonite

20 x 24 in (50.80 x 60.96 cm)

The Gymnasts by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

The Gymnasts, 1949

graphite on paper

13.25 x 10 in (33.66 x 25.40 cm)

The Mission by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

The Mission, c. 1980

oil on board

30 x 48 in (76.20 x 121.92 cm)

Two Figures Unmasked by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Two Figures Unmasked, c. 1960

oil on canvas

60 x 36 in (152.40 x 91.44 cm)

Untitled  by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled , c. 1949

gouache on paper

7.25 x 6.25 in (18.42 x 15.88 cm)

Untitled  by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled , 1949

gouache and graphite on paper

5.25 x 7.50 in (13.34 x 19.05 cm)

Untitled (Figure) by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled (Figure), 1948

graphite on paper

12.50 x 9.50 in (31.75 x 24.13 cm)

Untitled (Still Life with Bottle) by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled (Still Life with Bottle), c. 1949

gouache on paper

3.75 x 7.25 in (9.52 x 18.42 cm)

Untitled Figure by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled Figure, 1949

lithograph

9 x 7 in (22.86 x 17.78 cm)

Westward Ho (The Roadster) by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Westward Ho (The Roadster), 1987

oil on board

14 x 48 in (35.56 x 121.92 cm)

Bay Bridge by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Bay Bridge

oil on board

24 x 48 in (60.96 x 121.92 cm)

Canyon Lake #6 by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Canyon Lake #6, 1985

oil on masonite

36 x 48 in (91.44 x 121.92 cm)

Four Figures by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Four Figures

oil on masonite

10 x 8 in (25.40 x 20.32 cm)

Historic Galveston by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Historic Galveston

oil on board

24 x 30 in (60.96 x 76.20 cm)

Man with Bird Cage by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Man with Bird Cage

oil on canvas

54 x 42 in (137.16 x 106.68 cm)

Orange Steeple by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Orange Steeple

oil on masonite

48 x 36 in (121.92 x 91.44 cm)

Promenade by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Promenade, c. 1965

oil on board

24 x 36 in (60.96 x 91.44 cm)

Road to Mesa by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Road to Mesa, 1988

oil on masonite

14 x 14 in (35.56 x 35.56 cm)

Still Life With Red Hat On Chair by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Still Life With Red Hat On Chair, c. 1965

oil on masonite

18 x 47.50 in (45.72 x 120.65 cm)

The Humble Building by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

The Humble Building

oil on masonite

24 x 30 in (60.96 x 76.20 cm)

Three Guys by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Three Guys, c. 1990

oil on masonite

20 x 24 in (50.80 x 60.96 cm)

Untitled  by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled , c. 1949

graphite on paper

12.50 x 10.25 in (31.75 x 26.04 cm)

Untitled  by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled , c. 1949

gouache on paper

8.75 x 5.25 in (22.22 x 13.34 cm)

Untitled (Cubist Figure) by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled (Cubist Figure), c. 1949

graphite on paper

10.25 x 7 in (26.04 x 17.78 cm)

Untitled (Reclining Figure) by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled (Reclining Figure), 1950

graphite on paper

12.75 x 9.75 in (32.38 x 24.76 cm)

Untitled (Still Life with Guitar) by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled (Still Life with Guitar), c. 1949

gouache and graphite on paper

4.25 x 7.75 in (10.80 x 19.68 cm)

Untitled Figures by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled Figures, 1949

lithograph

9 x 6.75 in (22.86 x 17.14 cm)

Woman with Birds at St. Mark's Square by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Woman with Birds at St. Mark's Square, c. 1985

oil on masonite

14 x 22 in (35.56 x 55.88 cm)

Beautiful Valley by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Beautiful Valley, c. 1988

oil on masonite

30 x 48 in (76.20 x 121.92 cm)

Dancers by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Dancers

oil on masonite

30 x 40 in (76.20 x 101.60 cm)

Golden Port by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Golden Port, c. 1965

oil on masonite

40 x 30 in (101.60 x 76.20 cm)

Inviting Sunset by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Inviting Sunset, c. 1988

oil on masonite

16 x 30 in (40.64 x 76.20 cm)

Man with Boat by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Man with Boat

mixed media on paper

8.50 x 11 in (21.59 x 27.94 cm)

Paris Cafe by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Paris Cafe

oil on board

8 x 8 in (20.32 x 20.32 cm)

Public School 108, Brooklyn, New York by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Public School 108, Brooklyn, New York, c. 1965

oil on masonite

24 x 30 in (60.96 x 76.20 cm)

Rose Port by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Rose Port

oil on masonite

36 x 48 in (91.44 x 121.92 cm)

The Chief by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

The Chief, c. 1965

oil on masonite

24 x 18 in (60.96 x 45.72 cm)

The Jockeys  by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

The Jockeys

drawing on paper

8.50 x 11.75 in (21.59 x 29.84 cm)

Three Revelers by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Three Revelers, 1996

oil on board

14 x 24 in (35.56 x 60.96 cm)

Untitled  by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled , c. 1949

graphite on paper

13.50 x 10.50 in (34.29 x 26.67 cm)

Untitled  by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled , c. 1949

gouache and graphite on paper

7.50 x 4 in (19.05 x 10.16 cm)

Untitled (Figure) by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled (Figure), 1949

lithograph

9 x 6.75 in (22.86 x 17.14 cm)

Untitled (Seated Figure) by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled (Seated Figure), c. 1949

graphite on paper

9.25 x 6.75 in (23.50 x 17.14 cm)

Untitled (Three Men) by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Untitled (Three Men), 1949

lithograph

9 x 5.25 in (22.86 x 13.34 cm)

Valley by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Valley, c. 1988

oil on masonite

36 x 48 in (91.44 x 121.92 cm)

Fading Light by Herb Mears

Herb Mears

Fading Light, 1988

oil on masonite

17.75 x 24 in (45.08 x 60.96 cm)

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