Armand Merizon was a seeker of truth and beauty. He was an artist who refused to be held to any one style or template for how art should be represented. He threw off the mantle of tradition, worked through his disabilities, and refused to let go of the brush that both defined and bound him from his earliest years to his last breath. Armand Merizon was an artist’s artist.
As a boy growing up in Grand Rapids, MI, he was possessed by a wandering spirit, and resisted the confinement of his early years among his family of strict Dutch immigrants. Armand would hitchhike and ride freight trains to bigger cities, no doubt gathering the visual fodder that would later be expressed on his canvases. He struggled with illness and the confinement of schools. He lived through the Great Depression, joined the military during World War II, and studied art in New York and Europe. Merizon was a visionary who experienced the world at-large to be both his most suited classroom and greatest teacher.
Merizon’s work never stopped expanding throughout his life and his restlessness was clearly illustrated on canvas. He painted the gamut from stark realism to lyrical and geometric abstraction, employing layers of transparency and color. He was a master of oil, acrylic, casein and tempera, as well as a constant experimenter in new grounds, brush techniques, and color relationships. Merizon was also a student of the scientific aspects of paint luminosity and preservation. He was a generous teacher and leader of the art community in western Michigan. In 1968 Merizon bought a farm and, along with his wife and five children, settled into a quiet landscape of rural living that would feature in many of his works.
In the mid-80’s, Merizon was diagnosed with macular degeneration, a progressive disease that causes vision loss, particularly in the sharp, central focus area. Rather than giving up at such a life- altering diagnosis, Merizon continued to paint, vowing to do so until his nose touched the canvas. Throughout his life, classical music was one of Merizon’s greatest muses, not only as a constant accompaniment as he painted, but perhaps helped drive his creative spirit to new heights.
Armand Merizon passed away in 2010. The beautiful and thought-provoking work he left behind lives on at Merizon Studios.