Known for his paintings of deserts during the day and at night, Los Angeles–based artist Eric Merrell utilizes color throughout his work, which includes city streets, skate parks, and portraits. He is also a printmaker and makes his own custom frames for his paintings.
A native Californian, Merrell spent his formative years on both the East and West coasts. Early art classes in northern California preceded art school, which he attended first in Philadelphia and later in Pasadena, graduating from the ArtCenter College of Design.
Merrell was selected for a Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency in 2009 where he spent two summer months painting in the Mojave Desert. In 2010 he presented a solo exhibition of the work in New York City, and another the following year in Pasadena, California. In 2019 he was chosen for an artist residency with the Mojave National Preserve Artist Foundation; an exhibition of the work is scheduled for 2020.
The poetry and light found in these quiet and often overlooked desert lands have provided inspiration for the artist for more than 15 years. There is a mystery to these places during the day which only increases at night; as a result, desert nocturnes have become a significant part of his oeuvre.
Merrell’s work has been exhibited at the Autry Museum of the American West, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, the Wildling Museum in Santa Ynez, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, and in the Coors Western Art Exhibition and Sale in Denver, among others. He has consistently exhibited for over a decade in the California Art Club’s Annual Gold Medal Exhibition.
Merrell sees the world uniquely and adamantly forges that vision into work that is inspired by our contemporary world. Maintaining a balance between abstraction and representation, his paintings have been noted for their distinct aesthetics and use of color, which are common threads throughout his paintings. Whether depicting concrete streets in an urban metropolis, a portrait painted outside, a playful still life, or the poetry of solitude in the vast desert night, they stand apart.
Eric Merrell is represented by Maxwell Alexander Gallery, Los Angeles, California.
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