Saturday, November 13, 2010

Paul Merrick: Hive Gallery, Barnsley, UK

Paul Merrick
Hive Gallery, Barnsley, UK.
13 November - 19 December 2010

Paul Merrick's continued interrogation of painting and process has seen
him evolve from working exclusively with oil paint and two-dimensions
to a broader enquiry of what painting is and pushing his practice into
new territories. This solo exhibition at HIVE Gallery presents new works
and includes paintings, sculpture and the made with the ready-made.
Untitled (Big White) and Untitled (Stalactite Red) are examples of this
new investigation into scale, colour and surface. The materials used in
both works have been scavenged or recycled. Untitled (Big White) has
been assembled using discarded paintings, primed boards, off cuts
and seat cushions from the artist's studio. The multiple surfaces have
been composed to create a large-scale relief. The backs of old
paintings now face the viewer. Subtle textures and surfaces of 'off white'
tones that have resulted from their neglect in the studio have now been
placed on the gallery wall. Stains, drips, smudges and dusty fingertip
marks combine to create a new painting. By contrast Untitled (Stalactite
Red) consists of a series of found aluminium shop panels sought from a
scrap yard. Merrick's enquiry here concerns itself with the raw matter of
the support plane. No paint has been applied to its surface, Merrick
choosing instead to respond to the material's found condition to create
the final artwork. Cut and bolted together the staggered arrangement of
panels form a layered surface that is hung high on the gallery wall and
which thus creates a dynamic relationship with the surrounding

Untitled (Grey Fold) 2009 and Box #1 (Yellow) 2010 are further
examples of Merrick's new approach to painting and incorporate found
surfaces. The spray paint primer in Grey Fold transforms the painting
away from its rigid stainless steel material to something more delicate,
picking out its subtle folds and surface imperfections. Box #1 confronts
the viewer immediately with its physical presence in the gallery space.
The found object protrudes from the wall asking to be investigated. In
contrast to Grey Fold the yellow high gloss finish of Box #1 seduces the
viewer to question the work more closely.
Alongside the wall-based works Merrick has created a series of
sculptures that resemble familiar domestic objects like chairs, tables
and beds. Merrick here creates sculptures from found functional objects
like IKEA tables or frames and building objects that recreate the
archetypal forms of much loved, familiar objects.

Paul Merrick
Untitled (Construction White), 2010
chipboard, ply, mdf, sterling board, perspex and cushions
height 220 cm