Merlin James

Born 1960 in Cardiff, UK
Lives and works in Glasgow, UK

Merlin James self-consciously positions his practice outside of the genre conventions of painting.For one, there is no single subject matter: We may find landscapes, seascapes, and interiors alongside abstract colour fields, graphic nudes, and mystical animals. His technique ranges from the classic application of acrylic on canvas, to painting on transparents, stretched over the frame to resemble a window, and constructing gaping holes in the canvas. This way, the frame and its construction becomes visible. Often, other and somewhat visceral material such as hair, dirt or pieces of paper are embedded in the layers of acrylic paint. Some paintings are intentionally left undated. Thinking outside of art historical habit is an approach that James also applies to his writing of art criticism. He has written extensively on painting, specialising in unfamiliar works of art which have been overseen by the public.

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