7/11/2006

Merlin James

37 comments:

Painter said...

London

Cooky Blaha said...

this the dude that burned some cigarettes into his other shit?

obvious courbet homage, with a lil' pinkham ryder

BTW Courbet haters eat your f-kin hearts out
http://www.artfund.org/artwork/3581/enlarged/mar%E9e-basse-%E0-trouville-low-tide-at

couldnt find his best seascapes though sorry

brian edmonds said...

I see a lot of Ryder's foreboding and some Whistler. Nice texture in the sky. The glimmer of the moon is a nice touch. Not too much or little.

jimmy said...

http://www.andrewmummery.com/merlinjames/index.html

JpegCritic said...

I'd like to see it it's an homage to Bob Ross,
who in turn picked up his knife-work from Courbet.
C's best seascape in my opinion is La Trombe
(is it still in Philly)?

no-where-man said...

The world washed in his imagination,
The world was a shore, whether sound or form
Or light, the relic of farewells,
Rock, of valedictory echoings,
To which his imagination returned,
From which it sped, a bar in space,
Sand heaped in the clouds, giant that fought
Against the murderous alphabet:
The swarm of thoughts, the swarm of dreams
Of inaccesible Utopia.
A mountainous music always seemed
To be falling and to be passing away.

JpegCritic said...

excuse me. La Trombe of 1866. The waterspout.

JpegCritic said...

I would have this over courbet. Much more affordable.
Is that spackling paste?
I see a rorschach thing -- as if he folded the thing
to get the underpainting. Even better.

painterdog said...

where's my happy brush?

Bob Ross? I know that was a joke statement, right.

Nice painting.

JpegCritic said...

It wasn't.
Courbet pioneered virtuoso knifework.
Happy bob was a decendant.

epilepticadam said...

a giant earthworm snaking across the land.

steel pipe, plumbling splitting apart...

painterdog said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Martin said...

this is one of my favorite painters! i'm so happy to see this. i'm blanking on who i would really say are my top favorite (living) painters right now, only can think of merlin james, tomma abts, and marlene dumas.

so clever and beautiful said...

It doesn't matter a lot what other landscape/seascape painters this guy is working in the tradition of (Courbet, Friedrich, Turner, Ryder etc). Because there were lots and lots of them, all using the landscape to convey a sense of pure emotion. I think this painting was made in that same Romantic tradition of attempting to portray a heightend and inarticulable emotinal state (however I admit it may have been made with irony in mind, although it doesn't seem so). Artists feel a real need right now, as they always have in the past, to put vulnerable, easily ridiculed feelings forward. Mystical, Romantic, Sublime. We feel a need to address these ideas, but it is hard to talk about because it is not easy to analyse emotions, and the attempt to articulate them through art pretty much escapes language. Also, this picture seems to me to embody the disintegration of form that comes with a real visionary sense of the artist's bond with the spiritual in nature, as seen from the 1800's on in landscape painting and later on in abstraction.
SCAB (the elder)

zipthwung said...

Rock on

The suits were smoking coffin nails, see? And the Skirts were in the well, chasing ice cubes.

About my fifth umbrella, I looked for decoder rings to see if I could find a dame to shoot the shit with, a real free range chicken.

There were no rings, no dames, no hidden messages. Just me, the bartender and a rusty nail to soothe my throat.

Later, in my hotel room I looked at the painting of a wave above the bed. It didn't mean anything.

Later still, I was washed away by the susurus of the air conditioner.

dubz said...

it may have been made with irony in mind

are you kidding? this dude operates in a bubble of irony with whipped irony and an ironic cherry on top. hot ironic fudge dripping all over it, too.

ugh. he is SO pretentious. THE WORST.

Cooky Blaha said...

I'm not sure how ironic.. but yes pretentious. I went to a talk by him, boiled down stupid version was that he was against omnivorously inclusive art a la M Barney and for Alex Katz, who he is a champion of (merlin is also an art critic, right?)

millerhuggins said...

I want to like this painting. Is it a one liner, he likes Katz?? Katz is a bit of a one liner with a technique that is suitable...great painter. The painting seems to court long lost qualities of heart on the sleevedness, but painted with the bored scrape, scrape--maybe that's suitable...I would like to see this in person, and also see what kind of shoes this Merlin James wears. What's the scale of it...I imagine it quite large, are there painterly moments in the small marks or is it filling in the image? Anyone seen them?

JpegCritic said...

scab, I think you're confusing this with Kiefer.

James' seascape paintings are hard to read, in contrast to his other modernisty work. I don't get these. Is he one-upping Glenn Brown by painting his own motel paintings? If he's really serious, without irony, then it may be a step forward indeed. To where, I can't really fathom. Truly puzzled. But in a good way.

dubz said...

he knows exactly what he's doing. look at his other work from the last show at sikkema if you didn't see it in person. everything is calculated and ironic - the scale, the switcheroo technique that shifts in every painting, the subject matter - everything. he repackages the historical and kitsch painting and puts an intellectual spin on it.

millerhuggins said...

Truly puzzled in a good way...me too.

dubz said...

arrrgh!!!

JpegCritic said...

you crack me up dubz.

poppy said...

this guy, having never heard of him and checking out what else he has to offer,
if a fine painter.. very interesting works.
it makes me question the doubters and haters and wonder why or how they feel they approach a canvas with a more genuine brush in hand...
bull shit and good luck

zipthwung said...

by Neptune's Beard!

JpegCritic said...

Painter, while were on brit landscapes,
how about Hurvin Anderson? Curious to see opinions.

brian edmonds said...

Who has ever seen much of John Virtue's work? Go to this link. I especially like the studio part b/c you can take a virtual tour of it.
http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/education/artist/john_virtue/default.htm

brian edmonds said...

Hurvin's work reminds me of a little hockney and a lot katz from what i could see.

JpegCritic said...

There was a sizable article on Virtue in March 05 issue of Modern Painters. He seems like an old-school oddity. Not sure what to make of him.

brian edmonds said...

Yeah I saw that. I find his work to be compelling in a way. To me its hard to make black and white work so well and make it look so effortless.

no-where-man said...

i could watch waves break in the ocean all day.

turkeyvulture said...

one does not have to choose between sincerity and irony, there is a "third way" which recognizes both. the problem with this is that you might end up with a painting that's like a steven spielberg movie. his work, more than most, requires the context of his total output.

JpegCritic said...

no-where, what was the poem?
was it about courbet's exile --
the murderous alphabet being the
bill for vendome column?
regardless, it was quite pretty.

JpegCritic said...

Oh and z's prose was on target.

JpegCritic said...

Oh and z's prose was on target.

no-where-man said...

The Man With the Blue Guitar
-- by Wallace Stevens

some images are just to enjoy We murder to dissect.

traderguy said...

Kiefer seascapes?