Fabien Mérelle was born in 1981 in Fontenay-sous-Bois, France. He lives and works in Tours and Paris, France. Following an artist-in-residence award in 2005, Fabien Mérelle studied at Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts in China. He graduated in 2006 from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. This trans-global opportunity permitted Mérelle to discover and perfect the use of alternative Eastern drawing techniques, such as Chinese ink and laid the foundation for his clear-cut signature lines and anatomical precision, which are akin to Albrecht Dürer’s drypoint prints. Upon returning to the West, Mérelle was granted a residency at the prestigious Casa Velázquez in Madrid.
Mérelle’s drawings and sculptures cast us, with irony, into the phantasmagoric world of dreamlike, hybrid figures, mingling the animal and human worlds. His intimate works, infused with ultra-realism and fantasy, are inspired both by the surrounding world and his emotional landscape. The burlesque compositions often mock the artist’s torments without diminishing their gravity: Mérelle’s visual and linguistic allegories are an outlet that allows him to channel his emotions and tame his fears. The eerie blank background of his drawings only reinforces a pervading fantastical realism.
Fabien Mérelle’s work was awarded the Sanofi Art Prize in 2014, the Prix Canson in 2010 and the Casa Vélasquez residence award in 2007, to name a few. Recent solo exhibitions include those at Wilde (Geneva, Switzerland) and CCC OD (Tours, France). Group exhibitions include those at Kunsthalle Tübingen (Germany), Le Havre (France), Centre d’Art Contemporain Les Tanneries (Amilly, France), the Mesdag Collection (The Hague, Netherlands), Mu.ZEE (various locations, Belgium), The Drawing Center (New York, USA), MNAM – Centre Pompidou (Paris, France) and Art Bärtschi & Cie , now Wilde (Geneva, Switzerland). Fabien Mérelle’s works belong to the Fondation d’art contemporain Daniel et Florence Guerlain (Paris, France).