Merlin James, Art In conversation, The Brooklyn Rail

Louis Block, April 2020

Merlin James, <em>Dredge</em>, 2018. Acrylic and mixed materials, 47 1/4 x 84 5/8 inches. Courtesy the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.
"The painter Merlin James (b.1960, Cardiff, UK) shifts fluently between different modes, from landscape, interior, and still life to figuration and abstraction. He is also a prolific writer on art, contributing to many publications, notably the Burlington Magazine. When I first encountered his paintings, I was struck by their ability to engage earnestly with the history of the art form while also pressing ahead. In his varied constructions and shifting surfaces, James considers each part of the canvas, including the stretcher, substrate, and framing device as fundamental elements of painting’s language
James has worked in London, Wales, and New York at various points in his career, but for the past decade has been based out of a house and studio in Glasgow, where he co-founded the exhibition space 42 Carlton Place, mounting exhibitions of Prunella Clough, Serge Charchoune, Christina Ramberg, and Adrian Morris, among others. In the lead up to his next show at Sikkema Jenkins & Co., I visited Merlin James at his home studio to see the paintings in progress. The following is edited together from conversations in Glasgow and New York."
Louis Block, April 2020
Continue reading the full interview at The Brooklyn Rail Online.


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