Betty Merken: Missing Link
March 25- May 1, 2010
Sears-Peyton Gallery presents Missing Link, an exhibition of new oil paintings by Betty Merken, March 25- May 1, 2010. This is Merken’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.
The organizing force of Betty Merken’s paintings is architectural, recalling Postmodernist Minimalism, while the overt sensuality of her process recalls Abstract Expressionism. Subtle, sumptuous, and deceptively simple in format, the paintings of Betty Merken at times echo the work of Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Mondrian, and Richard Diebenkorn. Relying on an underlying geometry for their structure, these paintings nonetheless become vehicles for the creative freedom, gesture, and nuances of color so inherently possible with oil paint. The tension between these elements forms the core strength of her work, a language of abstract formalism which is uniquely her own and surfaces that are inviting, romantic, and filled with vitality and poetic nuance. The transcendental possibilities inherent in abstract painting are always on Merken’s horizon and are a daily challenge in her studio, pushing her forward to create work which has a sense of inevitability about it and which conveys a sense of oneness with the viewer.
Betty Merken (b. 1954), a native of Washington, has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in galleries across the U.S. Merken has recently been awarded a residency fellowship at the BAU Institute for Architecture and the Arts in Otranto, Italy for June 2010. Her work is held in private and public permanent collections, including the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, CA; the UCLA Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CA; the Portland, Oregon Art Museum, Portland, OR; the Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA; the Charles Schwab Corporation, CA & NYC; the Henry Ford III Collection, Grosse Pointe, MI. Merken lives and works in Seattle, Washington.