"Two Coats of Paint"
Art newsletterJune / July 2017
Art newsletterJune / July 2017
Installation of "My Left Index Finger" with ancient BuddhasMay 21 — September 4, 2016
The David Owsley Museum of Art, Muncie IN, acquired an 11-piece oil on paper installation of mine, "My Left Index Finger," 2008, for the permanent collection.October 2015
The Racine Art Museum, Racine WI, acquired 32 of my works on paper from 5 series for their permanent collection. The series trace the development of my body of work from 1995 to 2008. One series is included in "Cut, Fold and Form, " at the museum from January 24 to May 1, 2016.October 2015
My painting is featured in the gallery window - one of the "Three Sisters" triptych, the other two paintings are visible on the wall to the right.January 31 - March 14, 2015
Permanent installation of three paintings, "Trees," Lincoln Center Kitchen, David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, New York NYSeptember 2014
Tulip Tree, 2014, oil on canvas. 36 x 38 inches
Autumn Tree, 2014, oil on linen, 36 x 38 inches
Copper Beech Tree, 2013, oil on linen, 28 x 27 inchesJune 2014
Beit Ha'ir Urban Culture Museum Tel Aviv, Israel
A plain notebook was sent to participating international artists who were asked to create a work of art using it. In my notebook I continued to explore a long-running theme of chain-link fencing through collage and paint.July — November 2013
The Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, acquired my work on paper," London Plane Tree," 2011, for the permanent collection.July 2013
The David Owsley Museum of Art, Ball State University, Muncie, IN, acquired "Hearts and Flowers," 1995, a work on paper with thread and paint, for its permanent collection.February 2012
The Racine Art Museum, Racine WI acquired a 24-piece installation, "Only Me," 2002–2009, embroidery, paint on paper.January 2012
Tree paintingsMarch 2010
Permanent sculpture: 9 x 3 feet, galvanized iron and stainless steel mirrors, commissioned by Municipality of Karmiel.
(See video of the installation below)April 2009
BY KEVIN NANCE Art Critic, Chicago Sun Times, Jan. 17, 2007
For years now it's been fashionable, and increasingly a cliche, for critics to speak of artists as "making marks"—a fancy and ideologically fraught way of describing the gesture of applying pigment to canvas. In her intriguing new show at the Chicago Cultural Center, painter Merle Temkin adds an extra layer (or two or three) of metaphoric meaning to the idea of markmaking in a series of largely abstract images incorporating her own fingerprints and footprints.
Combining works in acrylic paint, dye and thread on cloth with others on cut paper, "Fingerprints" both objectifies that most personal of marks—the pattern of whorls and sickle-shaped lines that distinguish every person from any other—and turns it into a surprisingly universal aesthetic statement about the simultaneous uniqueness and anonymity of human identity. The conundrum of a fingerprint as the ultimate signature is that one looks at first glance much like any other; only by examining it in microscopic detail, as the artist has done here, can we associate it with an individual.
Most effective and haunting are the works on paper, whose sliced-and-reconfigured quality suggests a fracturing and reassembling of identity with implications that are both psychological and—especially in this era of increasing surveillance—political.
Temkin, born and educated in Chicago and based in New York, also draws our attention to the sheer formal beauty of the fingerprint, which, in these heavily ridged pieces built up with thick impasto strokes and dangling threads suggestive of embroidery or quiltmaking, may remind viewers of mazes, exotic animal hides or the strata of an archeological dig. The artist's technique is the opposite of slick; if there's a single word to describe Temkin's work, it's "handmade."January 2007