Carpenter Merlin-P8527 Police 10

© The Artist, courtesy of the artist and Simon Lee Gallery, London and Hong Kong

Police 10 2013

Merlin Carpenter (1967 – )


137.5 x 198.5 cm
oil on linen
Accession number


Carpenter’s paintings form part of a practice that appears torn between creation and disruption. As well as authoring events and exhibitions focusing on the machinations of the art world, he is interested in the artwork as site of authenticity and value, an object whose provenance in the west can stimulate high purchase prices and in turn spur on the capitalist agenda in places such as Eastern Europe. Carpenter's Police paintings are a series of 11 works which all contain the Metropolitan Police of London Logo, centred as it would appear on a police van. Inspired by the 2011 riots in London they hint at exhaustion with the language of authority and its inability to understand or connect with a changing society. The fact that the works can he hung any way up and even jutting out from the edge of walls further heightening a sense of the presumed omniscience of establishment structures such as the police force.

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