b. 1960, Wales; lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland
1983-86 Royal College of Art, London
Merlin James is predominantly recognised as a painter, albeit unconventional, unpredictable and always thought-provoking. His works are often small in scale, depicting diverse subject matter including vernacular architecture, riverside views, post-industrial landscapes, empty interiors and mysterious figures. His ‘frame paintings’ on gauzy, sheer material treat the structure of the picture frame and stretcher bar as an integral part of the work, while works on canvas might be collaged with tufts of hair or sawdust, distressed, pierced, cropped or heavily overpainted.
Merlin James’ work is included in the collections of the Tate, London, UK; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France; Dallas Museum of Art and San Antonio Museum of Art, Texas; Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing, China; National Museum of Wales, Cardiff; and OCT Boxes Museum, Shunde, China. James represented Wales at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007.