KUNSTHALLE BERN presents the new book by artist Merlin Carpenter in Cologne's Marsil. 'MIDCAREER PAINTINGS' was published for the exhibition by the artist at Kunsthalle Bern 2015. 22 moving blankets stretched over canvas hung in the seven rooms of Kunsthalle which were each assigned to one of Carpenter's seven galleries. The publication comprises along with extensive texts by Director of the Kunsthalle gallery, Valérie Knoll, and the artist Sam Lewitt as well as photos of the paintings also expressive black & white photo spreads of the exhibition setup in Bern, of his life in the year 2015, of related gallery exhibitions and of advertising posters for the show, which purportedly traveled to the seven different gallery locations. The choice for the book presentation fell upon Cologne since the artist spent some time in the art hotspot. After the book presentation, you can experience Merlin in action – where he will be in charge of music in Marsil together with DJ eggyoke as DJ Carpenter...
From Kunsthalle Bern we learn more about the title of the publication: “Between the promising beginning of an artistic career and the mature later works lies a long path through the desert of “midcareer”. The advantage of youth is used up, but it’s still too early for stocktaking. The audience thinks it knows what to expect, loses its curiosity and turns to younger ones. The artists continue to work. The fine line they walk appears fragile, with the threat of coming to a safe stall, on the one side, and a further development of their art that risks marginalizing them, on the other. All this could be regarded as a career cliché, but the expectations that contribute to determining the activities of artists do exist. Heteronomous images that some, in part unwittingly, seek to fulfill, and others, at times deliberately, seek to challenge. And even an offensive of challenge can become a strategy of seduction. Those from whom something is expected use it in an attempt to control the rules of the game. They no longer let themselves be playthings of the conditions, but try to shape these conditions themselves...”
Works by Merlin Carpenter (*1967, lives in Shepperton, UK) have been presented among others at MD 72, Berlin (2015), Formalist Sidewalk Poetry Club, Miami (2015), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015), Museum Brandhorst, Munich (2015), Nang Gallery, London (2015), Overduin & Co., Los Angeles (2014), Simon Lee, Hong Kong (2014), Galeria Nuno Centeno, Porto (2013), dépendance, Brussels (2013), Reena Spaulings Fine Art, New York (2012), Kölnischer Kunstverein (2007), Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2006), Bergen Kunsthall (2005), Whitechapel Gallery, London (2004), American Fine Arts, Co., New York (2003), Secession, Vienna (2000), Transmission Gallery, Glasgow (2000), Galerie Max Hetzler, Cologne (1992), and Birgit Küng, Zurich (1991). Further projects: The Burberry Propaganda Tour 2013, The Opening (2007–2009).
MIDCAREER PAINTINGS is the fifth book which Non-Format (Norway/USA) designed for Merlin Carpenter. Publisher is Kunsthalle Bern with texts by curator Valérie Knoll and artist Sam Lewitt (English/German, 24.5 × 28.5 cm, 144 pages, graphics: Non-Format, Sternberg Press, ISBN 978-3-95679-312-7, 2017. 25.00 Swiss francs).
Hotel Marsil was completely re-opened a few weeks ago after one year of reconstruction and has for years enjoyed great popularity as an insider tip among art lovers, filmmakers and photographers as well as the creative industry.