Merlin James

New Paintings 2002

10 January - 09 February 2002

Gulls 1986-2000
acrylic on canvas
45 x 55.9 cm / 17.7 x 22 in  

Untitled  1994 - 99
acrylic on canvas
36 x 42 cm / 14.2 x 16.5 in  

Not Titled  (Morocco) 1998
acrylic on canvas
33 x 44.5 cm / 13 x 17.5 in   

The Kerlin Gallery is very pleased to announce its first exhibition of paintings by Merlin James.
Merlin James paintings defy easy categorisation. They are at once playful and complex, gestural and rigorous, abstract and representational. While the individual paintings differ in style and subject they are all the result of a highly considered practice committed to investigating the role of painting now. Concerns both heralded and shunned by Modernism are reconsidered and redressed.
The paintings themselves have been reworked and reassessed. Some bear the traces of a prolonged explorative process, of being chopped, added to and repainted. Some paintings are realised more immediately.
This exhibition presents the opportunity to see a large number of works created over the last 10 years. The result is a coherent body of highly individual paintings that consistently returns us in a challenging yet rewarding way to fundamental questions about painting and how meaning is constructed.
Merlin James was born in Cardiff in 1960 and now lives and works in London. He studied painting at the Central School of Art, London and the Royal College of Art, London. Recent solo exhibitions include the National Gallery of Wales and Kettle's Yard Gallery, Cambridge. He writes regularly for the Burlington Magazine, Times literary Supplement and Modern Painters among others. In 1996 he gave the Kingston University Stanley Picker Lecture at the Tate Gallery entitled 'The Non-Existence of Art Criticism'. Forthcoming shows include a solo show in Brent Sikkema Gallery, New York in 2002 and a solo show in Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh in 2003.