No Man Is An Island: Solo Exhibition July 14 - September 25, 2010 Artist's Reception: Tuesday, July 20, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Please join us!
One of six artists selected from around the world for a 2009 Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency, Merrell spent the scorching summer months of July and August painting in the California desert, including the vast expanses of Joshua Tree National Park and the Salton Sea. Artistically stimulated by working outdoors, Merrell searches for a design and color arrangement that go beyond simple representation, as he explains, “The subtleties of the landscape give a voice to my unspoken thoughts.”
Comments on the exhibition:
"Painting en plein air (in the open air) presents an artist with a myriad of challenges, including the need to quickly interpret ephemeral light and capture atmospheric conditions, while often combating aggressive insects and peculiar creatures. A plein air artist must be physically fit, possess a hearty soul, a sense of adventure, and an ability to edit the immense amount of information that lies before his eyes. Eric Merrell welcomes these challenges with a nonchalant attitude, as he approaches them from his own unique perspective."
"The surreal, almost otherworldly Joshua Tree National Park is an ideal subject for Merrell. His high-key values contrasted with cool hues project a convincing reflection of the hot desert sand and the immediate drop in evening temperatures. His simplified shapes and masses express the age of the weathered terrain formed over millions of years of gusty winds and torrential rainstorms. It is these severe climate activities that create the vast wilderness uniquely identified with strangely twisted yuccas and skull-shaped boulders of Joshua Tree. With this collection of paintings, Eric Merrell grasps the spirit of the bizarre, but beautiful, environment of the Mojave Desert."
~ Elaine Adams, Executive Director, California Art Club, est. 1909; Editor-in-Chief, California Art Club Newsletter
“I met Eric Merrell about five years ago and I have been observing his development into an accomplished professional artist. His work is at the same time traditional and modern. Guided by his desire to paint nature and remain true to the forms of nature, he has nevertheless enriched his color palette to establish himself as a modernist, much in the tradition of the Fauves. Eric has, in fact, "liberated color from its role in nature" and made it his own distinct stylistic element. He is a bright young artist who will say much in the coming years.”
~ Jean Stern, Museum Curator and Art Historian
The exhibition features 30 new works, all presented in carved and gilded frames handcrafted by the artist. Paintings may be purchased by contacting the artist directly - please call 626/379-7144 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
See more of the exhibition at www.ericmerrell.com, under Paintings > Desert.