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January Issue 2011

Hampton III Gallery in Taylors, SC, Offers Works by Merton D. Simpson

The Hampton III Gallery in Taylors, SC, just outside of Greenville, SC, is presenting the exhibit, Merton D. Simpson: Paintings from 1953-2001, on view, now extended through Feb. 5, 2011.

Simpson was born in Charleston, SC, in 1928. As a young child he developed a passion for painting. Under the tutelage of William Halsey, Simpson opened his first exhibition in his native city.

In 1948, Simpson arrived in New York City and studied at New York University and Copper Union. Supporting himself with work at a framing shop, he met important artists of the day such as abstract expressionists Jackson Pollock and Robert Motherwell. Within a few years he was included in shows at the Metropolitan (1952) and the Guggenheim (1954), quickly establishing himself as a pioneer in the Abstract Expressionist movement.

In 1963, Simpson was part of the Spiral Group, African American artists responding to the civil unrest in America. Out of this period, came Simpson's pivotal Confrontation paintings. Always a consummate painter, Simpson is also celebrated as a forerunner in dealing in African sculpture and as a professional saxophone player.

Through Mar. 13, 2011, the Greenville County Art Museum in Greenville, SC, in conjunction with Hampton III Gallery is presenting the exhibit, Merton Simpson: Confrontations.

This exhibition includes fifteen paintings that Simpson created between 1968 and 1972, all large and dramatic examples of figurative expressionism.

One of the works on view in the Museum's exhibition is a painting that relates to the Orangeburg Massacre, a 1968 incident in which members of the South Carolina Highway Patrol fired into a crowd of young people, killing three and injuring twenty-eight.

Sandy Rupp, Director of Hampton III Gallery, was involved in organizing both exhibitions, working closely with Simpson and his New York staff.

For further information check our SC Commercial Gallery listings, call the gallery at 864/268-2771 or visit (www.hamptoniiigallery.com).


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