FAC Legacy Series: Frank Mechau

Paintings, Works on Paper

Exhibition Website

Mar 5 2016 - May 15 2016

Frank Mechau (1904–1946) is among the greatest artists associated with the early 20th century development of Colorado art. Mechau commanded national renown through his vision and virtuosity as an artist, as well as his influence as a teacher. .... Mechau then taught for the Fine Arts Center School in 1937-38. Under the continued influence of Robinson, Mechau maintained the Academy’s traditional teachings, making the FAC a western focal point for the Works Progress Administration mural projects.

Exemplary of Mechau’s mural work, as well as his best-known subject matter and style, is the 60-foot mural, Wild Horses, located in the FAC courtyard. Mechau’s mural was designed specifically for the newly-built FAC’s east wall, and unveiled with the building’s opening in 1936. Mechau painted the mural in the buon (true) fresco tradition, a very permanent method in which pigmented plaster is applied directly to the wall. Mechau’s art, especially his mural work, reflected his admiration for early Italian Renaissance painters. During his travels in Europe, Mechau encountered various instances of the harmonious marriage of mural painting with architecture. During his years in New York and Paris, Mechau encountered the innovative artists whose work was defining the era of high Modernism. In his work, Mechau combined these influences with the flat elegance of Japanese prints and ancient Chinese painting. At the height of his career, Mechau’s subjects ranged from his observation of the contemporary West’s gritty realism, to imagined visions of the historic West — from frenetic sports subjects to serene family scenes.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

Whether you go or not, Frank Mechau: Artist of Colorado offers a thoughtful and engaging account of Mechau’s career.

  • Painting
  • American
  • 20th Century
  • Western
  • Frank Mechau

Exhibition Venues & Dates