West Bund Art & Design, Shanghai

ArtReview Asia Xiàn Chang

9–13 November 2016

Merlin James, Untitled, 2012-16, acrylic and mixed media, 140 x 116 cm / 55.1 x 45.7 in

Merlin James, Bird, Branch, House, 2010, acrylic on acrylic with wood frame, 66 x 53 cm / 26 x 20.9 in

Merlin James, Crossing, 2016, acrylic and mixed media, 88 x 132 cm / 34.6 x 52 in

Merlin James, Bridge, 2016, acrylic and mixed media, 87.5 x 107 cm / 34.4 x 42.1 in  

Merlin James, Vitrine, 2008-09, acrylic and mixed media, 43 x 49 cm / 16.9 x 19.3 in   

Merlin James, Untitled, 2015, mixed materials, 111 x 89 cm / 43.7 x 35 in   

Kerlin Gallery is pleased to announce a solo presentation by Merlin James at West Bund Art & Design, Shanghai. Please join us in the ArtReview Asia Xiàn Chang section of the fair.


Merlin James’ intensively worked and generally small-scale canvases encompass a wide variety of subject matter including empty interiors, rural landscapes, architecture and, more recently, scenes of sexual intimacy. Often distressed, pierced, cropped or heavily overpainted, these 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. His apt description of the painterly project of an admired forebear, Alex Katz (James is also an accomplished and widely published critic), is equally applicable to his own practice: he continues to play the grand, complex game of Western painting while reflecting a fully contemporary consciousness of the modern and postmodern disjunctures of history and culture.


James lives and works in Glasgow. Recent solo exhibitions include To the Present, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin and Long Game, CCA, Glasgow (both 2016); Douglas Hyde Gallery (2015 and 2012); Kunstverein Freiburg (2014); Parasol Unit, London; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (both 2013). In 2007, Merlin James represented Wales at the 52nd Venice Biennale. He has been a visiting lecturer at many universities in Britain and the USA and in 1996 gave the Kingston University Stanley Picker Lecture at the Tate Gallery entitled ‘The Non-Existence of Art Criticism’. In 2002, he was the first holder of the Alex Katz Chair in Painting at The Cooper Union, New York.

For more information, please contact Rosa Abbott.