- Megan Abrahams, Whitehot Magazine, Merion Estes: Dystopia, May, 2015
- David Pagel, Los Angeles Times, The gorgeous but threatening world of Merion Estes, May 21, 2015
- Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, KCRW, Pattern and Decoration Revisited at the East Side Galleries, April 23, 2015
CB1 Gallery is pleased to present Dystopia, Merion Estes first exhibition at the gallery and her first in LA since 2009. The exhibition features new large “tapestry-like” paintings continuing her ongoing body of work exploring the intersection of nature and decoration. The exhibition will be on view April 18 through May 30, 2015. A reception for the artist will be on Saturday, April 18, 3 – 6 p.m.
“Overlaying machine replicated natural images cut from fabrics obtained from trips to Los Angeles’ schmatta district or Chinatown and occasional computer downloads with a vast painting repertoire of drips, brushstrokes, and vibrant swathes of color as well as her own lexicon of nature derived images, Estes creates a fast paced dialogue between the personal and authentic, the mass produced and artificial, the cultural and the organic. Passages in her work appear to mimic the energy and discursive processes of nature itself, suggesting a primal, organic basis to human activity. Her work sets into high tension traditional and exotic notions of beauty deemed pleasurable, desirable, playful, and erotic, against opposing forces embodied by violent paint strokes and storms of drips evoking fires, oil and toxic chemical spills, cataclysmic upheavals.”
–Constance Mallinson Urban Nature, Times Quotidian on-line journal. 2010
Raised in San Diego, California Merion Estes attended high school, as an art major at Grossmont High School. After a seven year hiatus, she resumed her education at Grossmont College in El Cajon. She moved to the University of New Mexico to continue her education where she found two inspiring visiting teachers from London as well as the Los Angeles painter Frederick Hammersley. After four years, she accepted an offer of a scholarship to the University of Colorado in Boulder where she received her MFA. After a summer’s teaching job and her first group show in a non-profit space in Denver, she and her family moved to Los Angeles in late 1972, where she has remained, working as an artist, ever since. For the last fourteen years, she has concentrated on teaching art in the California public colleges, mostly at Long Beach City College, Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Fullerton. She has never stopped painting.