Fabien Mérelle was born in 1981 in Fontenay-sous-Bois, France. He lives and works in Tours and Paris, France.
Mérelle graduated in 2006 from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris and, following an artist-in-residence award in 2005, studied at Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts in China. 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 of his signature clear-cut lines and anatomical precision, which are akin to Albrecht Dürer’s drypoint prints. Upon his return to the West, Mérelle was granted a residence 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. Very often, the burlesque compositions 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 distinguished with several prizes and awards, among them the Sanofi Art Prize (2014), the Prix Canson (2010) and the Casa Vélasquez residence award in Madrid, Spain (2007). Recent solo exhibitions include those at the CCC OD (Tours, France, 2019) and Art Bärtschi & Cie (2016, 2010). He was also featured in numerous group exhibitions, including at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Les Tanneries (Amilly, France, 2018), the Mesdag Collection (The Hague, Netherlands, 2018), Mu.ZEE (various locations, Belgium, 2017), The Drawing Center (New York, USA), MNAM – Centre Pompidou (Paris, France, 2013) and Art Bärtschi & Cie (2017, 2015, 2013, 2012). Fabien Mérelle’s works were acquired by Fondation d’art contemporain Daniel et Florence Guerlain.