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Merlin James - Artists - Kerlin Gallery

Merlin James approaches the history and legacy of painting with a highly considered and unconventional viewpoint. As commented by Artforum’s Sherman Sam, his work “has sought to rigorously problematise the experience of painting while simultaneously deepening its formal language”. Generally small in scale, his works depict diverse subject matter including vernacular architecture, riverside views, post-industrial landscapes, empty interiors, mysterious figures and scenes of sexual intimacy. His ‘frame paintings’ on gauzy, sheer material treat the structure of the picture frame and stretcher bar as an integral part of the work, while works on canvas might be collaged with tufts of hair or sawdust, distressed, pierced, cropped or heavily overpainted. Also an erudite and thoughtful critic, James has a deep engagement with the history of art and this knowledge shapes and informs his practice. His works refine and renew many of painting’s most time-honoured concerns – genre and narrative, pictorial space and expressive gesture, the emotive resonance of colour and texture.

 

Merlin James lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland.

Merlin James - Artists - Kerlin Gallery

We are delighted to announce a landmark publication from Merlin James offering the most comprehensive overview of his career to date. Compiling 40 years of the artist’s painting practice, with full-colour reproductions of almost 300 artworks, organised non-chronologically and guided instead by the various threads and motifs that have woven throughout his career over the past four decades.

PURCHASE NOW

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails
Merlin James 
House With Hoarding, 1989 (2023)
acrylic and mixed materials
118 x 122 cm / 46.5 x 48 in

Merlin James 
House With Hoarding, 1989 (2023)
acrylic and mixed materials
118 x 122 cm / 46.5 x 48 in

Inquire
Merlin James 
Pine, 1996-7
acrylic on canvas
31 x 39 cm / 12.2 x 15.4 in

Merlin James 
Pine, 1996-7
acrylic on canvas
31 x 39 cm / 12.2 x 15.4 in

Inquire
Merlin James 
Old Buildings, 2023
acrylic, wood and mixed materials
114 x 105 cm / 44.9 x 41.3 in
Merlin James 
Old Buildings, 2023
acrylic, wood and mixed materials
114 x 105 cm / 44.9 x 41.3 in
Merlin James 
Old Buildings, 2023
acrylic, wood and mixed materials
114 x 105 cm / 44.9 x 41.3 in

Merlin James 
Old Buildings, 2023
acrylic, wood and mixed materials
114 x 105 cm / 44.9 x 41.3 in

Inquire
Merlin James Truth, 2023

Merlin James
Truth, 2023
acrylic on canvas
86.5 x 50.7 cm / 34.1 x 20 in   

Inquire
Merlin James Dunes, 1998

Merlin James
Rigs, 2023
mixed materials
56 x 81.5 cm / 22 x 32.1 in

Inquire
Merlin James Untitled, undated

Merlin James
Untitled, 2018-20
acrylic and grit on canvas
82 x 65 cm / 32.3 x 25.6 in

Inquire
Merlin James 
Pier, 2023
acrylic on canvas
31 x 50.5 cm / 12.2 x 19.9 in   

Merlin James 
Pier, 2023
acrylic on canvas
31 x 50.5 cm / 12.2 x 19.9 in   

Inquire
Merlin James 
Untitled (on green), 2022-23
acrylic on green canvas
40.5 x 32.5 cm / 15.9 x 12.8 in

Merlin James 
Untitled (on green), 2022-23
acrylic on green canvas
40.5 x 32.5 cm / 15.9 x 12.8 in

Inquire
Merlin James 
Sky, 2023
acrylic on canvas
71 x 130 cm / 28 x 51.2 in

Merlin James 
Sky, 2023
acrylic on canvas
71 x 130 cm / 28 x 51.2 in

Inquire
Merlin James 
Birdcage, 2018
acrylic and mixed materials
31.1 x 22.9 cm / 12.2 x 9 in   

Merlin James 
Birdcage, 2018
acrylic and mixed materials
31.1 x 22.9 cm / 12.2 x 9 in   

Inquire
Merlin James 
Cat Walk, 2022
acrylic, hair and charcoal on canvas
44 x 71 cm / 17.3 x 28 in

Merlin James 
Cat Walk, 2022
acrylic, hair and charcoal on canvas
44 x 71 cm / 17.3 x 28 in

Inquire
Merlin James 
Ashes, 2022
acrylic on canvas
79 x 65.5 cm / 31.1 x 25.8 in   

Merlin James 
Ashes, 2022
acrylic on canvas
79 x 65.5 cm / 31.1 x 25.8 in   

Inquire
Merlin James 
Estuary, 2014
acrylic, wood and mixed media
100 x 186 cm / 39.4 x 73.2 in      
Collection of Musee d’Art Moderne de Paris
 

Merlin James 
Estuary, 2014
acrylic, wood and mixed media
100 x 186 cm / 39.4 x 73.2 in      
Collection of Musee d’Art Moderne de Paris
 

Inquire
Merlin James 
Painter (Red), 1986
acrylic on canvas
67 x 143 cm / 26.4 x 56.3 in   
Collection of TATE Gallery, London
 

Merlin James 
Painter (Red), 1986
acrylic on canvas
67 x 143 cm / 26.4 x 56.3 in   
Collection of TATE Gallery, London
 

Inquire
Merlin James 
The Vale, 2017
acrylic, canvas, polycarbonate, wood, hair and mixed materials
103 x 177 cm / 40.6 x 69.7 in   
 
Merlin James 
The Vale, 2017
acrylic, canvas, polycarbonate, wood, hair and mixed materials
103 x 177 cm / 40.6 x 69.7 in   
Merlin James 
The Vale, 2017
acrylic, canvas, polycarbonate, wood, hair and mixed materials
103 x 177 cm / 40.6 x 69.7 in   
 

Merlin James 
The Vale, 2017
acrylic, canvas, polycarbonate, wood, hair and mixed materials
103 x 177 cm / 40.6 x 69.7 in   
 

Inquire
Merlin James 
House With Hoarding, 1989 (2023)
acrylic and mixed materials
118 x 122 cm / 46.5 x 48 in

Merlin James 
House With Hoarding, 1989 (2023)
acrylic and mixed materials
118 x 122 cm / 46.5 x 48 in

Merlin James 
Pine, 1996-7
acrylic on canvas
31 x 39 cm / 12.2 x 15.4 in

Merlin James 
Pine, 1996-7
acrylic on canvas
31 x 39 cm / 12.2 x 15.4 in

Merlin James 
Old Buildings, 2023
acrylic, wood and mixed materials
114 x 105 cm / 44.9 x 41.3 in

Merlin James 
Old Buildings, 2023
acrylic, wood and mixed materials
114 x 105 cm / 44.9 x 41.3 in

Merlin James Truth, 2023

Merlin James
Truth, 2023
acrylic on canvas
86.5 x 50.7 cm / 34.1 x 20 in   

Merlin James Dunes, 1998

Merlin James
Rigs, 2023
mixed materials
56 x 81.5 cm / 22 x 32.1 in

Merlin James Untitled, undated

Merlin James
Untitled, 2018-20
acrylic and grit on canvas
82 x 65 cm / 32.3 x 25.6 in

Merlin James 
Pier, 2023
acrylic on canvas
31 x 50.5 cm / 12.2 x 19.9 in   

Merlin James 
Pier, 2023
acrylic on canvas
31 x 50.5 cm / 12.2 x 19.9 in   

Merlin James 
Untitled (on green), 2022-23
acrylic on green canvas
40.5 x 32.5 cm / 15.9 x 12.8 in

Merlin James 
Untitled (on green), 2022-23
acrylic on green canvas
40.5 x 32.5 cm / 15.9 x 12.8 in

Merlin James 
Sky, 2023
acrylic on canvas
71 x 130 cm / 28 x 51.2 in

Merlin James 
Sky, 2023
acrylic on canvas
71 x 130 cm / 28 x 51.2 in

Merlin James 
Birdcage, 2018
acrylic and mixed materials
31.1 x 22.9 cm / 12.2 x 9 in   

Merlin James 
Birdcage, 2018
acrylic and mixed materials
31.1 x 22.9 cm / 12.2 x 9 in   

Merlin James 
Cat Walk, 2022
acrylic, hair and charcoal on canvas
44 x 71 cm / 17.3 x 28 in

Merlin James 
Cat Walk, 2022
acrylic, hair and charcoal on canvas
44 x 71 cm / 17.3 x 28 in

Merlin James 
Ashes, 2022
acrylic on canvas
79 x 65.5 cm / 31.1 x 25.8 in   

Merlin James 
Ashes, 2022
acrylic on canvas
79 x 65.5 cm / 31.1 x 25.8 in   

Merlin James 
Estuary, 2014
acrylic, wood and mixed media
100 x 186 cm / 39.4 x 73.2 in      
Collection of Musee d’Art Moderne de Paris
 

Merlin James 
Estuary, 2014
acrylic, wood and mixed media
100 x 186 cm / 39.4 x 73.2 in      
Collection of Musee d’Art Moderne de Paris
 

Merlin James 
Painter (Red), 1986
acrylic on canvas
67 x 143 cm / 26.4 x 56.3 in   
Collection of TATE Gallery, London
 

Merlin James 
Painter (Red), 1986
acrylic on canvas
67 x 143 cm / 26.4 x 56.3 in   
Collection of TATE Gallery, London
 

Merlin James 
The Vale, 2017
acrylic, canvas, polycarbonate, wood, hair and mixed materials
103 x 177 cm / 40.6 x 69.7 in   
 

Merlin James 
The Vale, 2017
acrylic, canvas, polycarbonate, wood, hair and mixed materials
103 x 177 cm / 40.6 x 69.7 in   
 

Merlin James - Artists - Kerlin Gallery

KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, 2013

Merlin James has had numerous solo exhibitions, including at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge; Venice Biennale, Wales Pavilion; Sikkema Jenkins, New York; KW Institute, Berlin; Kunstsaele, Berlin; CCA, Glasgow; Kunstverein, Freiberg; Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin; OCT, Shunde & Shenzhen; Anton Kern, New York; Philadelphia Art Alliance. Selected international collections include Tate, London; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing, China and National Museum of Wales, Cardiff. In 2023, James had a two-person exhibition, Double Shuffle, with Victoria Morton at Kerlin Gallery, Dublin. The exhibition coincided with the launch of a landmark new publication gathering 40 years of the artist’s work. 

Exhibitions

Exhibitions Thumbnails
Merlin James
Long Game, 2018
OCT Boxes Art Museum, China; OCT Art & Design Gallery, Shenzhen, China

Merlin James
Long Game, 2018
OCT Boxes Art Museum, China; OCT Art & Design Gallery, Shenzhen, China

Merlin James
Long Game, 2016
CCA, Glasgow, Scotland
Merlin James
Long Game, 2016
CCA, Glasgow, Scotland
Merlin James
Long Game, 2016
CCA, Glasgow, Scotland
Merlin James
Long Game, 2016
CCA, Glasgow, Scotland
Merlin James
Long Game, 2016
CCA, Glasgow, Scotland
Merlin James
Long Game, 2016
CCA, Glasgow, Scotland
Merlin James
Long Game, 2016
CCA, Glasgow, Scotland

Merlin James
Long Game, 2016
CCA, Glasgow, Scotland

Merlin James
Freestyle, 2014 
Kunstverein Freiberg, Germany
Merlin James
Freestyle, 2014 
Kunstverein Freiberg, Germany
Merlin James
Freestyle, 2014 
Kunstverein Freiberg, Germany
Merlin James
Freestyle, 2014 
Kunstverein Freiberg, Germany
Merlin James
Freestyle, 2014 
Kunstverein Freiberg, Germany
Merlin James
Freestyle, 2014 
Kunstverein Freiberg, Germany

Merlin James
Freestyle, 2014 
Kunstverein Freiberg, Germany

Merlin James
Merlin James, 2013
Parasol Unit, London, UK
Merlin James
Merlin James, 2013
Parasol Unit, London, UK
Merlin James
Merlin James, 2013
Parasol Unit, London, UK
Merlin James
Merlin James, 2013
Parasol Unit, London, UK
Merlin James
Merlin James, 2013
Parasol Unit, London, UK

Merlin James
Merlin James, 2013
Parasol Unit, London, UK

Merlin James
Signal Box, 2013
KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany

 
Merlin James
Signal Box, 2013
KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany

 
Merlin James
Signal Box, 2013
KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany

 
Merlin James
Signal Box, 2013
KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany

 
Merlin James
Signal Box, 2013
KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany

 

Merlin James
Signal Box, 2013
KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany

 

Merlin James
In the Gallery, 2012
Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
Merlin James
In the Gallery, 2012
Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
Merlin James
In the Gallery, 2012
Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
Merlin James
In the Gallery, 2012
Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
Merlin James
In the Gallery, 2012
Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
Merlin James
In the Gallery, 2012
Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

Merlin James
In the Gallery, 2012
Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

Merlin James
Long Game, 2018
OCT Boxes Art Museum, China; OCT Art & Design Gallery, Shenzhen, China

Merlin James
Long Game, 2018
OCT Boxes Art Museum, China; OCT Art & Design Gallery, Shenzhen, China

Merlin James
Long Game, 2016
CCA, Glasgow, Scotland

Merlin James
Long Game, 2016
CCA, Glasgow, Scotland

Merlin James
Freestyle, 2014 
Kunstverein Freiberg, Germany

Merlin James
Freestyle, 2014 
Kunstverein Freiberg, Germany

Merlin James
Merlin James, 2013
Parasol Unit, London, UK

Merlin James
Merlin James, 2013
Parasol Unit, London, UK

Merlin James
Signal Box, 2013
KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany

 

Merlin James
Signal Box, 2013
KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany

 

Merlin James
In the Gallery, 2012
Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

Merlin James
In the Gallery, 2012
Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland