In Production / Paint Factory, Michael Merrill falls in love with a new motif, the factory that supplies him with his raw material, oil paint. Not surprisingly perhaps for the one who, in the series Paintings About Art, visited in painting the art of others and their backstage, revealing the exhibition contexts as well as the storage and documentation activities necessary for their existence.
The new series offers in primary colors and schematic compositions the repeated sight of machines without revealing the famous Golden brand, a family business nestled in New York State visited by Merrill.
Behind the stratagem established by the artist in his paintings, a bit of history looms. It touches on the general scope of the manufacture of tube paint on the transformation of the profession of painter and the role of this company in American painting, in particular its canons of abstraction. Against the generic character of the factory, the painter’s bill asserts itself. The show of hands is knowingly revealing.
In the same exhibition, a series of oil paintings also captivates the attention. She was born during the pandemic, when the boundaries of containment redefined the patterns within the artist’s reach. The ordinary of everyday life rubs shoulders with more pointed references to art in compositions that return to the elementary lessons of still life. Michael Merrill gives back to this genre based on the observation of reality its power to overcome boredom, proving again that he knows brilliantly how to combine conceptual research with play.