For his provocative Midcareer Paintings exhibition in 2015, British artist Merlin Carpenter (b. 1967) hung 22 packing blankets in the Kunsthalle Bern’s seven rooms. The inexpensive and disposable blankets made with recycled materials are pulled like canvases around identically scaled stretcher frames, postdated 2016, and prominently displayed as “not for sale.” Created a year after the exhibition, the large soft-cover catalog embossed with the location of Carpenter’s seven galleries—New York, London, Los Angeles, Brussels, Berlin, Miami, Lisboa/Porto—begins with a grainy black-and-white collaged image feed of the installation for exhibition, related gallery shows, advertising billboards and random street scenes and concludes with the contrast of elegant color photographs of the individual artworks. Texts by Kunsthalle Bern director Valérie Knoll and artist Sam Lewitt examine the materiality of Carpenter’s works, its mix of playfulness and earnestness, the limbo of the “midcareer” artist and the circulation of artwork as a commodity signifying material wealth and value.
Softcover / 9 ¾ x 11 ¼ in / 144 pp
Extensive b&w and color
Retail Price: $30.00
KUNSTHALLE BERN, SWITZERLAND