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Fabien Mérelle: From island to island, the landscape that disappears

17 May - 29 June


Kiang Malingue is pleased to present “From island to island, the landscape that disappears”, an exhibition of recent drawings on paper, tuffeau stones and ceramics by Fabien Mérelle. The drawings are part of the ongoing project to portray the landscape and topography of Pointe de Gatseau on Oléron Island (Île d’Oléron) off the west coast of France, which began eight years ago.

A suite of thirteen ink on paper drawings continues to explore the unique landscape on Oléron Island, where the land gradually vanishes due to global warming. Mérelle initiated the long-term series in 2016, immersing his own avatar—a man in his pyjamas, always remaining in proximity to dreams and nightmares alike—into Oléron Island’s natural environment, occasionally interacting with man-made structures along the shores. After contemplating the environment for half a decade, Mérelle realized that he was drawn to the landscape because it has disappeared; drawings made in 2016 could no longer represent the reality of the island, where land is gradually eroded away as sea level rises. Making visible the water for the first time, a large number of drawings shown in “From island to island, the landscape that disappears” are effectively documentations of trees, rocks, bunkers and barricades that are now under water.


Fabien Mérelle is a highly talented and emerging young French artist who creates delicately detailed drawings in black ink and watercolour. A recent graduate from the Beaux-Arts academy in Paris, Mérelle received a scholarship in 2005 to attend the Beaux-Arts academy in Xi’An, China. Already passionate about the art of drawing, this trans-global opportunity permitted Mérelle to discover and perfect the use of alternative Eastern drawing techniques, such as Chinese ink. Upon his return to the West, Mérelle was granted a residence at the prestigious Casa Vélasquez in Madrid and in 2010 he was the first winner of the highly lauded Canson Prize.

Fabien Mérelle’s exquisite work has received international recognition and has been exhibited at The Armory Show in New York as well as Art Paris. Mérelle recently had a solo exhibition at Praz-Delavallade gallery in Paris and was previously part of a group show at Guy Bärtschi gallery in Geneva. His work has also appeared in various prestigious publications such as Art Actual, Beaux-Arts Magazine and Le Monde.  Mérelle’s work can be found in several private and public collections, including the Daniel and Florence Guerlain contemporary art foundation in Paris.

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