The paintings of Merlin James, a Welsh-born artist who lives in Scotland, are often described as idiosyncratic. He himself once said, “Each painting contains the memory of painting.” James merges landscape, figures, and architecture into visions that float between history and modernity, their surfaces patinated, the paint often scumbled. Splotches of color, upon closer examination, reveal a craggy coastline in a blue ocean. An Islamic temple slants over vibrant violet grounds. —E.C.
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