Betty Merken

Light, Through Fields of Color

June 29, 2010 - Lilly Wei

"In 2004, Betty Merken made a painting called Summer Fruit that was crucial to her development as an artist. Halved into two canvases, one was brushed a succulent coral, like the flesh of a ripe melon while the other, green-gold, ribbed, netted, conjured its outer skin. The viewer could easily regard it, with or without its title, as a melon pared to its visual essence, more melon-like, arguably, than a realistic depiction. On the other hand, it could also be seen as non-objective. But, more completely, more alluringly, it could be considered both. It was the first such painting she had made, in which the focus was on the fluidity of exchange between the referential and non-referential."

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Betty Merken: Monotypes

June 29, 2009 - Leonard Lehrer

"The monotype is one of the several high profile print techniques. While it is likely the least of the methodologies utilized by the majority of professional printmakers, it is also among the most challenging and rewarding. As the intaglio, relief print, screen print and lithography churn out a variety of different images, the monotype is all too often seen as a distant cousin. To explore its qualities, its demands, and its special traits requires a type of commitment and passion of a singular nature, e.g., in the other print mediums the artist can make various adjustments and gradually reach the desired effect; with the monotype there is one run through the press. Period. A second run changes everything."

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