With his outstanding contribution to the gallery’s launch show in October 2014, Lacey Contemporary is now delighted to present a solo exhibition of paintings and drawings by Merlin Ramos.
Memory Lands is the culmination of years of looking, observing and the returning to places, ideas and memories that strike a chord with the artist. He takes observation and landscape, pulls it apart and redefines it.
In his latest works for Memory Lands surreal landscapes laced with architectural references and nostalgia are a preoccupation. He plays with elements of colour, form and movement. Imagery is worked and reworked. The rhythm of adding and subtraction guides the work, while outside references inform its aesthetic. The concept of the work is to challenge the landscape, making sense of it – expressing geology in the paintings and drawings in an attempt to capture fleeting moments in time.
Merlin studies the world around him, and breaks his work away from normal convention to mould them to his own artistic advantage. Observation and imagination overlap – forming an experimental ground where all thoughts are possibilities. Merlins work is like a Constable / Motherwell hybrid.
Merging the two influences allows the artist to understanding the two different artistic processes to create a sumptuous vista, a delicate simplification of reality.
A deep somber palette of rich greens, greys and blues intertwine and give way to to flecks of brilliant neon and metallic. Buildings are turned on their heads, ripples of memories glide across the surface. Trinkets and mementos litter the surreal landscape sinking into into the soft land or rising again for a new inspection. The delicate melody playing from the paintings, wraps you in a warm tapestry of a dreamlike embrace.
Merlin will also present a series of drawings for Memory Lands. Drawing and painting sits side by side in importance for Merlin, the two processes feeing into each other.
My work circulates around nuances of personal spaces. I start by sketching observed imagery – sketches inform collages and the collages inform the canvases – for any one subject matter there is a three stage process with each feeding into the other. Sections are zoomed in on and zoomed out – it is a bit like a geological study, with fragmented pieces all coming together…. My work is in a constant flux of adding and subtracting, pushing subject matter deeper into the canvas and pulling other imagery out. Landscapes, architecture, objects are all melded together to create a dreamlike expanse with flashes of memories and cherished moments.