Kerlin Gallery are delighted to announce Window, an exhibition of recent paintings by Merlin James.
Window comprises of works predominantly completed over the last three years, made at James's studio near the river Clyde in Glasgow. In these paintings James refers to the view of the river, but also to the surrounding buildings and the more interior life of their occupants. While some of the works seem to approach total abstraction, others are very specific in their representation.
This exhibition will coincide with a dedicated room of paintings in ‘Mixing It Up: Painting Today', a survey of contemporary painting curated by Ralph Rugoff at the Hayward Gallery, London (9 September - 12 December) and the presentation of larger paintings titled 'Day' and 'Night' at Art Basel (23-26 September).
Selected exhibitions include Hayward Gallery, London, UK (2021); Leeds Art Gallery, UK (2019) travelling to The Levinsky Gallery, University of Plymouth, UK (2020); A-M-G5, Glasgow, UK (2018); OCT Boxes Museum, Shunde & OCT Art and Design Gallery, Shenzhen, China (both 2018); Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia (2018); CCA Glasgow (2016); Kunstverein Freiburg, Germany (2014); Parasol Unit, London; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (both 2013); and Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2012, 2015). In 2007, James represented Wales at the 52nd Venice Biennale.
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, i.e. 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, Scotland.