Merlin James is concerned with the nature of painting and uses a variety of materials in his work including; hair, sawdust and other unconventional substances, as well as frames that he fashions from salvaged materials, to investigate the history of his medium.
His work may appear to be abstract but look closer and you’ll find a repetition of motifs such as heads, animals, canals, bridges, skies and buildings all placed in a space that suggests a memory, a dream, an imagined landscape. Matthew Higgs from Art Forum described his work as:
James takes painting’s multiple and overlapping histories partly as his subject matter and partly as a point of departure. The paintings are stylistically promiscuous – it is hard to describe or even imagine a “typical James.” Yet seen together they not only make perfect sense but also articulate something of the infinite freedom and the stubborn vitality of the medium.
His work is full of simple blocks of colour, expressionistic brush strokes on textured canvases that must be a wonderful sight when standing in front of. And now you can if you happen to be in Dublin between now and the end of November. James’ most recent work will be exhibited from today at The Kerlin Gallery, Anne’s Lane, South Anne Street, Dublin 2, Ireland until 24th November, 2012. Check it out.
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