Merle Nacht American (b. 1947) Blue and White Bowl watercolor, gouache, ink and acrylic on handmade paper 22 1/8 x 14 7/8 inches 29 3/4 x 22 1/4 inches (framed) signed (at lower right); M. Nacht 2017 Merle Nacht has been an artist since her childhood in Erie, Pennsylvania. Like many artists, she credits her mother's encouragement and the local museum and art classes she took growing up. She majored in Illustration at Syracuse University before launching her professional career as an Illustrator. Nacht has always etched and painted, but her career was as an illustrator. In addition to working for corporate clients and illustrating books, the artist did many illustrations for the Boston Globe, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Hartford Courant, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. Most notable is Nacht's twelve years with The New Yorker Magazine where she produced many black and white drawings that featured in the pages of the magazine. She has five color New Yorker covers to her credit. This painting, Blue and White Bowl, uses compositional devices found in Asian Art as well as having an Asian subject matter. Matisse's inspiration is also found throughout, especially the use of color and the dramatic black background. The black background recalls Matisse's late cut out work from the Jazz series. Nacht readily admits to her love of Matisse's work.