I’m happy to report that my new aunt-in-law is a painter. Josie Merck’s recent work is inspired by New England farmers, specifically those on Block Island (a tiny island off the shores of Rhode Island) who make hay within the boundaries of old stone walls. “It is about what lies inside and what lies outside the boundaries,” Merck says. “Grasses are grown high, then mowed down, fluffed up (tedded), raked into long rows (windrows), and then collected up and packed into bales.” In her current show at the Atlantic Gallery, Merck’s paintings move in a more abstract direction than her previous work, which depicted shore birds, foxes, owls, and other wildlife.
“Josie Merck: Working the Lands,” Atlantic Gallery, New York, NY. Through June 14.