Richard Merkin: Paintings and Drawings AND Backroom: Meg Lipke

Backroom: Abstract Paintings by Meg Lipke

Opening reception Saturday November 6, 2010

November 4, 2010 through December 12, 2010

Vanity Fair and also wrote for Gentleman’s Quarterly as well as being a regular contributor of illustrations for The New Yorker Magazine. He also has the dubious distinction of appearing on the cover of the Beatles’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, (back row, right of center). Merkin’s friend, the writer Tom Wolfe writes, “The typical Merkin picture takes legendary American images - from baseball, the movies, fashion, Society, tabloid crime and scandal - and mixes them with his own autobiography, often with dream-like juxtapositions”. This exhibition will includes numerous drawings and paintings from the estate of Richard Merkin.


Running concurrently in the Backroom is an exhibit of both large and small abstract paintings by Meg Lipke. This is Ms. Lipke’s first exhibition at Carrie Haddad Gallery. Lipke’s paintings simultaneously invite and thwart figurative readings. The atmospheric works refer to cellular forms and geometric organisms within an animated landscape. Lipke’s preoccupation with maps, mazes, and anatomy stems from her interest in the process of moving through time, space, emotions, and events. Art in America’s Aruna D’Souza states in her review of Likpe’s paintings, “Clumps of pigment and visible brushstrokes activate the surface, the result of working over a still-wet surface. The top layer of paint has dried and contracted to form a wrinkled skin that enhances the organics suggested by the genetic forms.” Meg Lipke holds an MFA in painting from Cornell University (96) and a BA from the University of Vermont (91). She and her husband and two sons live in Columbia County.

Carrie Haddad Gallery is located at 622 Warren Street and is open daily 11-5 (closed Wednesday). You can preview the exhibit online at Call the gallery at (518) 828 1915 for more information or directions.

Note From the Curator

“Girls just want to have fun…”; Cyndi Lauper and Richard Merkin would have had something in common.

From his bohemian, jazz-era fashion sense, often recalling images of Adolphe Menjou, to the widely varied collections of memorabilia that filled his home and to the joy he had with friends and students, it is clear Richard was, while working hard, just having a lot of fun.

His hundreds of paintings, illustrations, sketches and collages are a natural and direct expression of all that he saw and all that made him happy to be alive.

He defied the norm and conventional. Art critics, struggled to categorize, define and contain his style. When they failed they often walked away seeming throwing their hands in the air. Yet he persevered and along the way inspired decades of students, many who followed as though he were a rock star. When a memorial was held at Rhode Island School of Design, where he taught, many came dressed as he dressed, some with Merkin masks. A show of respect for the man he was as much as thanking him for the talent he nurtured in each of them.

When he looked out at the world he saw everything and everyone honestly.
He didn’t seem to judge or criticize. He observed and visually commented with the seemingly uncensored purity of a child.

Today, in such an unsettled world, a walk among even just a few of Richard Merkin’s paintings will help one to just look, observe, reflect and smile at the folly of these strange earthlings we call - human beings.

– Stephen King, Curator

Meg Lipke

Richard Merkin