Merle Temkin was born and raised in Chicago and is a long-time resident of New York City. She holds degrees in painting from the Chicago Art Institute and in sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute. Trees have been the focus of her paintings for several years. She perceives the negative space around the trees as a way to create them. By carving away this space with paint on canvas, the tree is revealed, a process of working from the outside to depict the inside.
Temkin has exhibited nationally and internationally for the past 25 years in the United States, Germany, Israel and Korea. Current solo exhibitions include a permanent painting installation in David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center, NYC, and a permanent sculpture commissioned by the town of Karmiel, Israel. Past solo exhibitions include at the Chicago Cultural Center and a commission at the National Building Museum, Wash. DC. Her work has been acquired by the Museum of Art & Design, NYC; Museum of Art at Rhode Island School of Design; Jersey City Art Museum; The Racine Art Museum; David Owsley Museum of Art and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem among others. She has been the recipient of several awards including two from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and a Richard Florsheim Art Fund Museum Purchase for the Museum of Art & Design, NYC, to acquire my work, as well as two residency fellowships at Vermont Studio Center. Her paintings have been the subject of two monographs: Merle Temkin Portfolio Collection, a book published in England; and Extreme Scrutiny, Surface Design Magazine. She received two individual reviews in The New York Times, one in the Chicago Sun-Times, and has been featured in Artforum, Art News, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Sculpture Magazine and RISDxyz magazine among others.