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Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Paintings for Persons

  • Merlin James
  • 9385e1ae 7d49 4cae dbae 2256ff55fdba
    Merlin James, Beach Huts, 2003-14
    1 / 5 All
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    Merlin James, Camping by a Lake (for L. M. Eilshemius), 2016
    2 / 5 All
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    Merlin James, Prodigal Son (for Mark Glazebrook), 1992/2016
    3 / 5 All
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    Merlin James, Red Buildings, 2007
    4 / 5 All
  • Ad0d7650 50e0 4545 c56c 0d3cda671b83
    Merlin James, The Shape of Things (for Sidney Nolan), 1981/2016
    5 / 5 All

Press for Paintings for Persons

Current Exhibitions at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.


Drawings

  • Kara Walker,
  • Opens: Sep. 08, 2020
  • Closes: Sep. 30, 2020
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

György Kepes/Cameron Martin

  • Cameron Martin,
  • György Kepes,
  • Opens: Nov. 21, 2019
  • Closes: Jan. 18, 2020
  • Reception: Nov. 21, 2019
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

As the Ground Turns Solid

  • Zipora Fried,
  • Opens: Nov. 21, 2019
  • Closes: Jan. 18, 2020
  • Reception: Nov. 21, 2019
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Pictures of Paint and Museum of Ashes

  • Vik Muniz,
  • Opens: Oct. 10, 2019
  • Closes: Nov. 16, 2019
  • Reception: Oct. 10, 2019
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Property Rights

  • Mitch Epstein,
  • Opens: Sep. 03, 2019
  • Closes: Oct. 05, 2019
  • Reception: Sep. 05, 2019
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Terry Haggerty

  • Terry Haggerty,
  • Opens: May. 30, 2019
  • Closes: Jul. 12, 2019
  • Reception: May. 30, 2019
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Come Softly to Me

  • Louis Fratino,
  • Opens: Apr. 18, 2019
  • Closes: May. 24, 2019
  • Reception: Apr. 18, 2019
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

The Whole Picture

  • Zipora Fried,
  • Arturo Herrera,
  • Thomas Pihl,
  • Erin Shirreff,
  • Opens: Mar. 01, 2019
  • Closes: Apr. 06, 2019
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

In a Few Words

  • Steven Evans,
  • Jenny Holzer,
  • Glenn Ligon,
  • Marlene McCarty,
  • Lorna Simpson,
  • Gran Fury,
  • Kara Walker,
  • Opens: Jan. 24, 2019
  • Closes: Feb. 23, 2019
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

In a Lighter Place

  • Brenda Goodman,
  • Opens: Jan. 24, 2019
  • Closes: Feb. 23, 2019
  • Reception: Jan. 24, 2019
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Quality of Life

  • Jennifer Packer,
  • Opens: Nov. 28, 2018
  • Closes: Jan. 19, 2019
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

The Enormity of Time

  • Marlene McCarty,
  • Opens: Sep. 06, 2018
  • Closes: Oct. 13, 2018
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

New Work

  • Luiz Zerbini,
  • Opens: Sep. 06, 2018
  • Closes: Oct. 13, 2018
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Down Side Up

  • Sheila Hicks,
  • Opens: May. 24, 2018
  • Closes: Jul. 06, 2018
  • Reception: May. 24, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Erin Shirreff

  • Erin Shirreff,
  • Opens: Apr. 13, 2018
  • Closes: May. 19, 2018
  • Reception: Apr. 13, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Vital

  • Maria Nepomuceno,
  • Opens: Mar. 01, 2018
  • Closes: Apr. 07, 2018
  • Reception: Mar. 01, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

New Work

  • Deana Lawson,
  • Opens: Mar. 01, 2018
  • Closes: Apr. 07, 2018
  • Reception: Mar. 01, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

The Onrush of Scenery

  • Leonardo Drew,
  • Mitch Epstein,
  • Marc Handelman,
  • Luiz Zerbini,
  • Opens: Jan. 25, 2018
  • Closes: Feb. 24, 2018
  • Reception: Jan. 25, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Paintings

  • Arturo Herrera,
  • Opens: Nov. 29, 2017
  • Closes: Jan. 20, 2018
  • Reception: Nov. 29, 2017
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

As I Went Walking

  • Josephine Halvorson,
  • Opens: Oct. 19, 2017
  • Closes: Nov. 22, 2017
  • Reception: Oct. 19, 2017
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

The most Astounding and Important Painting show of the fall Art Show viewing season!

  • Kara Walker,
  • Opens: Sep. 07, 2017
  • Closes: Oct. 14, 2017
  • Reception: Sep. 07, 2017
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Album

  • Vik Muniz,
  • Opens: Apr. 10, 2014
  • Closes: May. 10, 2014
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Soldier

  • Suzanne Opton,
  • Opens: May. 16, 2014
  • Closes: Jun. 28, 2014
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Blingo

  • Kay Rosen,
  • Opens: May. 16, 2014
  • Closes: Jul. 18, 2014
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Deana Lawson, Judy Linn, & Paul Mpagi Sepuya

  • Deana Lawson,
  • Judy Linn,
  • Paul Mpagi Sepuya,
  • Opens: Jan. 13, 2017
  • Closes: Feb. 18, 2017
  • Reception: Jan. 13, 2017
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Arturo Herrera

  • Arturo Herrera,
  • Opens: Oct. 10, 2014
  • Closes: Nov. 15, 2014
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Keiichi Tanaami

  • Keiichi Tanaami,
  • Opens: Sep. 02, 2014
  • Closes: Oct. 04, 2014
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Burt Barr

  • Burt Barr,
  • Opens: Jan. 13, 2017
  • Closes: Feb. 18, 2017
  • Reception: Jan. 13, 2017
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Group Show

  • Antony,
  • Marc Handelman,
  • Marlene McCarty,
  • Jorge Queiroz,
  • Kara Walker,
  • Opens: Sep. 02, 2014
  • Closes: Oct. 04, 2014
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Afterword

  • Kara Walker,
  • Opens: Nov. 21, 2014
  • Closes: Jan. 17, 2015
  • Reception: Nov. 21, 2014
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Genre Paintings

  • Merlin James
  • Opens: Jan. 28, 2015
  • Closes: Mar. 07, 2015
  • Reception: Jan. 28, 2015
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Sheila Hicks

  • Sheila Hicks,
  • Opens: Oct. 22, 2015
  • Closes: Nov. 28, 2015
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Harold Edgerton

  • Harold Edgerton,
  • Opens: Jan. 28, 2015
  • Closes: Mar. 07, 2015
  • Reception: Jan. 28, 2015
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Aggregates

  • Marc Handelman,
  • Opens: Mar. 12, 2015
  • Closes: Apr. 11, 2015
  • Reception: Mar. 12, 2015
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Arm's Length

  • Erin Shirreff,
  • Opens: Apr. 17, 2015
  • Closes: May. 22, 2015
  • Reception: Apr. 17, 2015
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Terry Haggerty

  • Terry Haggerty,
  • Opens: Sep. 10, 2015
  • Closes: Oct. 17, 2015
  • Reception: Sep. 10, 2015
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Perhappiness

  • Luiz Zerbini,
  • Opens: Apr. 28, 2016
  • Closes: Jun. 04, 2016
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

New Work

  • Leonardo Drew,
  • Opens: Sep. 08, 2016
  • Closes: Oct. 08, 2016
  • Reception: Sep. 08, 2016
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Amplitude

  • Jennie C. Jones,
  • Opens: Sep. 08, 2016
  • Closes: Oct. 08, 2016
  • Reception: Sep. 08, 2016
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

stuff change

  • Amy Sillman,
  • Opens: Feb. 04, 2016
  • Closes: Mar. 12, 2016
  • Reception: Feb. 04, 2016
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Larry Walker

  • Larry Walker,
  • Opens: Jun. 09, 2016
  • Closes: Jul. 15, 2016
  • Reception: Jun. 09, 2016
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

More Simply Put

  • Lucas Blalock,
  • Arturo Herrera,
  • Sheila Hicks,
  • Maria Nepomuceno,
  • Opens: May. 19, 2017
  • Closes: Jun. 30, 2017
  • Reception: May. 19, 2017
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Epistemes

  • Vik Muniz,
  • Opens: Feb. 23, 2017
  • Closes: Apr. 01, 2017
  • Reception: Feb. 23, 2017
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Turn Up the Bass

  • Arlene Shechet,
  • Opens: Oct. 13, 2016
  • Closes: Nov. 12, 2016
  • Reception: Oct. 13, 2016
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Paintings for Persons

  • Merlin James
  • Opens: Oct. 13, 2016
  • Closes: Nov. 12, 2016
  • Reception: Oct. 13, 2016
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

It Didn't Turn Out the Way I Expected

  • Tony Feher,
  • Opens: Nov. 17, 2016
  • Closes: Dec. 23, 2016
  • Reception: Nov. 17, 2016
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

When

Oct 13 - Nov 12, 2016

  • Reception: Oct 13, 6 - 8pm

Where

Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

  • 530 W 22nd St, New York NY 10011 Map
  • 212.929.2262

About

Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is pleased to present Paintings for Persons, an exhibition of work by Merlin James on view from October 13, 2016 through November 12, 2016.

James's solo exhibitions frequently feature new paintings alongside ones dating back across his career. As such they are sometimes wrongly classed as retrospectives or surveys. Rather, working and re-working images over extended periods, James presents all his paintings – from student works right to the latest – as essentially concurrent, to be viewed in the present, even while the changes in their physical and stylistic 'look' and their connotations and associations change through time. Such changes are actively engaged with as part of the complex way works of art continue to signify. His present exhibition again juxtaposes earlier and more recent paintings, and includes the diverse range of modes, formats and imagery for which the artist is known.

The exhibition is further built around several works the titles of which include a dedication to someone; sometimes an artist James may have an affinity with; sometimes a person he knows or has known personally; in some cases closer friends or family members.

The practice of dedicating works in this way is less common among visual artists than among poets or authors of books. To dedicate – as to entitle – is to use language performatively (in philosopher John Austin's sense), and it has many implications. For James it is part of his on-going play with factors like signature, date, title and even frame – apparently peripheral or adjunct material that is nevertheless part of the work, effecting its meaning.

The act of dedication highlights questions of audience and reception by specifying one privileged addressee. The more general audience is put in the position of 'listening in' to an exchange between the artist and the recipient of the dedication. In a sense the work is even gifted to the dedicatee, without becoming his or her physical possession, and a question is raised as to what constitutes the true ownership of a work of art.

Several of James's dedications are to known artists (and he will sometimes title works with artist's names). In such cases his long and involved dialogue with painting's history and evolution is especially evident. In more personal dedications – perhaps to a parent, or partner – we are made conscious of private biographical contexts that may or may not be permissible information in a critical reading of the painting. James has spoken and written frequently of the critical concept of 'biographical heresy' – the reduction of works of art to illustrations of their creator's life story. A number of portraits and figure paintings feature in the current show, and questions as to the anonymity/specificity of these and other subjects depicted are also alluded to in the dedications.

Despite the conventional propriety of sometimes only giving first name, or initials, nevertheless to dedicate a work of art remains paradoxically a more public than private act, presupposing other viewers for whom a hint is offered of a possibly unknowable 'back story' behind the creation of the piece. Most works of art are inevitably addressed to an audience of relative strangers, and ultimately to those coming to the work after the lifetime of the artist or of any individual for whom the work was supposedly made.

Indeed, as a sub-category of titling or naming, dedication may even suggest parallels or equivalences between paintings and persons – the senses in which works of art are also individual, having unique character and 'personality'. They finally present themselves to the viewer independently of the author's envoi.

Born in Cardiff, Wales, in 1960, Merlin James studied in London at the Central School of Art and the Royal College of Art. He currently lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland.

James’s work has been exhibited widely, including in recent solo shows at CCA Glasgow (2016); Kunstverein Freiburg (2014); Parasol Unit, London; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2013). In 2007 James represented Wales at the 52nd Venice Biennale.


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