Tanya Merrill’s work invents narratives to examine humanity’s fraught relationship to nature and cultural portrayals of gender and sexuality through her own contemporary lens. Fantastic, consequential, and at times humorous scenes are populated by animals and characters caught amidst moments of introspection, fervor, or mischief. Gesture and movement are punctuated by sketched lines, lending her canvases a sense of effervescence and immediacy. Reinterpreting motifs drawn from throughout art history, Merrill imbues a sense of familiarity to her storytelling as a means to decode 21st century concerns. Symbols and imagery make repeat appearances from one work to the next, building a mythology of personas and environments.
Tanya Merrill was born in New York City in 1987. She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and her MFA from Columbia University. Merrill presented a solo exhibition at Half Gallery, New York in 2020, and has an upcoming solo exhibition at The Pond Society in Shanghai this July. Recent group exhibitions include Blum and Poe, Los Angeles; Gagosian Gallery, New York; and Clearing, New York. Merrill lives and works in New York City.