Merlyn Evans

Merlyn Evans

  1. Mel Gooding
  • ISBN 9780906506264
  • 28.70 x 26.00 cm
  • Hardback
  • 192pp
  • Illustrated in colour throughout
  • First published 2010
  • Distributed on behalf of Cameron Books

This is the first full monograph of the life and work of the remarkable British artist Merlyn Evans (1910–73)

Deeply affected by the poverty and violence that he witnessed in Glasgow during the depressed years of the late 1920s and early 1930s, Evans developed a highly personal abstract style, combining plant, crustacean and mechanical forms. His work was fundamentally shaped by his conviction that art should be an engagement with life, reflecting psychological, ethical and political concerns. Surrealism became a major influence, but Evans’s subject matter became increasingly social and political, reflecting his growing concern over economic distress at home and political disaster in Europe.

Living in South Africa at the end of the 1930s, he remained preoccupied by the European crisis, and his paintings made explicit reference to economic depression, atrocity and war. In London after World War II, he took up etching and aquatint and embarked on a distinguished printmaking career in parallel to his painting.

He was deeply read in psychology, philosophy, politics, mechanics, optics, and the history and techniques of art, as well as in modernist literature and contemporary poetry. All these aspects of his thought found expression in his work as an artist and as a writer and teacher.