My work is known for its use of varied depictions of natural “scenes”, whether stereotypical landscape views or underwater scenes. The beauty and fragility of life and the tragedy of man’s intervention is my subject. There are few paradises left. As of 2014, I still am using found fabrics from Africa and elsewhere, coupled with mixed paint applications and photo transfers. My use of African prints has added to my vocabulary of forms and patterns. Often their prints use symbolic depictions of natural forms and were recognized by me as similar to my own abstracted natural forms and backgrounds. The manufactured prints add an exotic and surprising aspect to the work. This allows for greater variety and originality in the paintings and an added layer of content that is more specific and somewhat representational. I like the feeling of “craft” that results. The content and meaning of my work has become clearer to the viewer. I am interested in the wildly varied combination of found imagery and depictions of subject that this method has afforded me. From the inspiration of ancient Asian prints, to the contemporary printed motifs inspired by African fabrics, is quite a journey. Ironically, the hand painting has mostly disappeared. Collaged materials and photo imagery has opened a whole new world for me.
MFA University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado BFA University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Awards & Grants
2007 Joan Mitchell Foundation funded residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute 1996 Artist’s Fellowship, J. Paul Getty Trust Fund for the Visual Arts
2012 “Un-Natural.” Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park. With LisaAdams, Fatehma Barnes and Constance Mallinson. (Four solo shows) 2012 “Merion Estes: Paintings and Works on Paper.” David Richard Contemporary. Santa Fe, New Mexico 2011 “Lost Horizons and More.” David Richard Contemporary. Santa Fe, New Mexico 2009 “Lost Horizons.” Galerie Anais, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA 2007 Recent Paintings. Cardwell Jimmerson Gallery. Culver City, CA 2006 “A Sea of Possibilities: Paintings by Merion Estes” 1971-2006. (Retrospective.) Pomona College Museum of Art. Claremont, CA. Curated by Rebecca McGrew. (Catalogue) 2005 “Contemporary Soliloquies On the Natural World.” Karen Carson, Merion Estes, Constance Mallinson, Margaret Nielsen and Takako Yamaguchi. USC Fisher Galleries, Los Angeles, CA. Curated by Max Schultz. (Catalogue) 2001 “Merion Estes, Paintings.” Irvine Fine Arts Center. Irvine, CA Curated by Carl Berg
Selected Group Exhibitions
2013 “Dangerous Beauties.” Stuart Haaga Gallery. Descanso Gardens, Glendale, CA curated by John O’Brien 2012 “The Nature of Things.” Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Santa Monica. Curated by Constance Mallinson and Virginia Katz 2011 Platform: “Los Angeles in the 70’s.” David Richard Contemporary. Los Angeles Art Fair 2011 “Painting Per Se: Los Angeles Paintings from the Seventies.” David Richard Contemporary, Santa Fe, New Mexico. (Curated by David Eicholtz and Peter Frank. 2011 “AKA Zen.” David Richard Contemporary. Santa Fe, New Mexico. 2010 “Urban Nature.” Curator, Constance Mallinson. (On-line journal “Times Quotidian”) 2009 “Rant.” Curated by Ryan and Dan Callis. Pacific Design Center. Los Angeles 2007 “Women Artists of Southern California: Then and Now.” Track 16 Gallery, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA 2003 “LAPD.” Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles. Curated by Michael Duncan. 2002 “Post Cool.” San Jose Art Museum, San Jose, CA Curated by Michael Duncan Traveled to Otis College of Art Gallery. Los Angeles. (2004)
2001 “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Occidental College Gallery, Los Angeles. Curated by Michael Duncan. 2001 “Cross-Pollination.” Holland Tunnel, Brooklyn, N.Y. Curated by Susan Joyce. “Organica.” Coleman Gallery, West Hollywood, 2000 “Cosmic Dermis” Rosamund Felsen Gallery. Curated by Gordon Haines. Santa Monica. Summer
Selected Articles & Reviews
2013 Barrie, Lita. Artweek.la/issue/July22. “Dangerous Beauties” 2013 Enholm, Molly. Art ltd. “Dangerous Beauties” July/August 2012 Frank, Peter. “Un-Natural” Fabrik Magazine. May. 2011 Frank, Peter. “Los Angeles Painting in the 1970’s” Art ltd. Sept.-Oct. 2011 Keinholtz, Lyn “L.A. Rising: So Cal Artists Before 1980” Getty Publications 2011 Powell-Wilson, MaLin. “California states of Mind” Albuquerque Journal North. 2011 Frank, Peter. “Merion Estes: Lost Horizons” Art ltd. November/December 2007 Mallinson, Constance. “Review of Merion Estes.” Art in America, December. 2006 Duncan, Michael. “Focus L.A.” Art in America. November 2006 Pagel, David. “Earth, Wind and Higher” Los Angeles Times. January 9 2006 Frank, Peter. “Pick of the Week” L.A. Weekly January 26 2005 Duncan, Michael, et al. “State of the Art: 100 Best Artists in L.A.” L.A. Weekly. 2004 Miles, Christopher. “Tracing Patterns” Art in America. February. 2003 Myers, Holly.“Redefining Boundaries of What’s Hip”. Los Angeles Times. July 28 2003 Frank, Peter. “Picks of the Week:” NYPD, LAPD” Los Angeles Weekly. 2003 Morris, Barbara. “Post-Cool”. Artweek. 2002 Fischer, Jack. “Post-Cool”. San Jose Mercury News. 2000 Haines, Gordon. Brochure essay for Cosmic Dermis show at Rosamund Felsen. 2000 Pagel, David. Review, “Cosmic Dermis” Los Angeles Times. August.