Five embossed prints is the first exhibition in the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac of original prints by Jason Martin, who was born in Jersey in 1970. This series was created in collaboration with the Mixografia Workshop in Los Angeles.
Martin is known for his monochrome pictures. For each one, he constructs a special brush - or rather, a comb of the same size as the length of the ground - with which he scores fine lines in the freshly applied oil or acrylic paint, creating different kinds of surfaces according to the material of the ground (usually already in relief) and the pastosity of the paint.
Jason Martin's works are structurally extremely varied, ranging from a thin glaze that allows the reflecting metal ground to shine through, to expressive, deep reliefs with fleshy borders of oil-paint spilling out over the edges of the picture.
The relief print used by Mixografia, its technical precision, the three-dimensionality and clarity of the surface textures - these decisive factors convinced Martin that he had found a suitable technique for transferring his oil paintings into the medium of print.
Mixografia has specialised not only in their patented technique of relief printing, but also in the production of hand-made paper. In relation to Martin's prints, the process can be described thus: Martin brings the printer one of his oil paintings to use as a model; then, in collaboration with the artist, a negative form is modelled in various stages, resulting in a copper printing-plate in reverse; colour is applied to this before the moist paper is placed on it and forced through the press. Because of the extreme pressure with which these prints are produced, the ink is completely absorbed into the paper. The special feature of the technique is that it allows a high-relief moulding of the paper, while achieving extremely fine textures and surface detail.
After graduating from the Chelsea School of Arts and Goldsmith College in London, in 1995 Jason Martin received a scholarship from the Sohen Ryu Tea Ceremony Foundation in Kamakura (Japan), which was followed by many participations in pioneering group exhibitions in the latter half of the 1990s, such as: Real Art. A New Modernism. British Reflexive Painters in the 1990s (Southampton City Art Gallery 1995), About Vision. New British Painting in the 1990s (Museum of Modern Art Oxford 1996) and Sensation. Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection (Royal Academy London 1997). More recently, Jason Martin's work attracted much attention at the Monochrome exhibition (2004) in the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid.