Merle Nacht American (b. 1947) Golden Delicious 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 framed to museum conservation standards 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 beginning her professional life as an Illustrator. Nacht has always etched and painted but her career was as an illustrator. In addition to working for major 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 was Nacht's twelve years with The New Yorker Magazine where she produced many black & white drawings that featured in the pages of the magazine. She has five color New Yorker covers to her credit. This painting, Golden Delicious is simultaneously familiar and unexpected. The bright orangey-red apples and the exquisite blues of the plate recall Matisse's work as does the black background. This dramatic black background is reminiscent of Matisse's Jazz cutouts from the end of his life.