On December 29, 2015, Hugh Mesibov turns 99.
|Hugh Mesibov in the Gallery May 1, 2010, with the monumental Siege of Leningrad, 1943.|
From 1937 to 1941 Mesibov worked on the painting, mural, and printmaking sections of the Philadelphia Works Progress Administration. In 1941 Mesibov made the mural Steel Industry, for the Post Office, Hubbard, Ohio, under the US Treasury Department. While on the printmaking division of the WPA he was instrumental in developing the carborundum mezzotint technique (with Michael J. Gallagher and Dox Thrash), and the subsequent innovation of color carborundum printmaking. His drypoint, Pieta, 1937, was shown at the New York World's Fair, 1939. Mesibov's work from this period reflects social issues of the day and is drawn in a lively and bold style influenced by the modernist works he knew from the Barnes. In 1940 he had his first one-man show, at the Carlin Gallery, Philadelphia.
The Wartime Shipyard, Surrealist Works of 1942/45, Paintings and Drawings, was on view at the Gallery May 1 – 22, 2010. During World War II Mesibov was a First Class Ship Fitter at the historic William Cramp & Son Shipbuilding Company in Philadelphia. That day-to-day experience, combined with horrific wartime news, resulted in a body surrealist works depicting dangerous post-industrial wastelands. A work by Mesibov from this period was included in Surrealism USA, at the National Academy of Design Museum, NY, 2005.
In 2008 work by Mesibov was included in the landmark exhibition, The American Scene, at the British Museum. In 2012 it was shown in America @ Work, at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, Connecticut College, New London, and this past summer, 2015, in WPA*Jobs, at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Norwalk, Connecticut.