Born in Cardiff, Wales in 1960, James studied and practised in London for a number of years before moving to Glasgow where he now lives and works.
Merlin James’ enigmatic paintings are wide ranging in character. They may include images of our environment – rooms, buildings, distant landscapes, sea and sky – or of figures and objects. They may also be abstract, or obscure in what they represent. While sometimes seeming slight or rough in execution, and often modest in scale, James’ compositions are intensely invested orchestrations of colour, texture and form, giving a rich and complex viewing experience.
James’ investigations sometimes extend beyond the surface, including the picture frame as an integral part of a work, piercing the canvas, mixing raw matter into the paint or using supports of transparent fabric to reveal the stretcher bars and wall behind.
Featuring an engaging interview between Merlin James and curator, Ziba Ardalan, this publication includes several previously published critical articles on James’ work offering a thorough review of the artist’s career.
Published to accompany the exhibition at Parasol unit, London 6 June – 10 August 2013,