“I always identify nature as the measure to which painting should aspire – heaven on earth found gazing into the brazen glory of a flower etc. I experiment with nature and I use nature but I do not mimic nature.”


Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is pleased to present a solo show of Jason Martin’s most recent pigment paintings at our Marais gallery.

Firmly anchored in the modernist tradition of gestural and monochrome painting, Jason Martin has never ceased to question the definition of painting, breaking down its limits and pushing its potentialities forward. Space, movement and form set the conceptual framework within which the artist has chosen to navigate. The meticulously choreographed movement of the brush and the controlled application of pigment have always conferred an extraordinary sculptural quality to his works, while remaining two-dimensional.

With his recent Pigment Paintings he delves into a new dimension. The works from this series are modelled by hand in complex layers of pasty materials, creating a dense weave of intermingling textures. Thick brush strokes punctuate flows and streams of solidified magma. The organic amalgamates with the inorganic and smooth surfaces acquire a more mineral texture. Pure pigments are projected onto these rugged landscapes, evoking telluric or volcanic sceneries. A lump of material, reminiscent of water lilies, protrudes from the background here and there, expressing the suggestive power of abstract painting to convene an image in the viewer’s mind.

These pigment paintings stand in stark contrast to Jason Martin's oil paintings. His compositions in oil create an illusion of depth and,are constantly interacting with the light, reverberating it as through a soft filter. His pigment paintings instead seem to absorb all the light in their texture to then render an intense yet mute glow, sublimating the physical experience of the material.

Jason Martin was born in Jersey in 1970 and currently lives and works in London and in Portugal.

After graduating from Goldsmiths College in London Jason Martin received a scholarship from the Sôhen-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 (Oxford Museum of Modern Art 1996).

Martin came to the attention of a wider public through the now legendary group exhibition Sensation, with works from the Saatchi collection by young British artists (Royal Academy of Arts, London 1997, then Berlin and New York). It marked the birth of the term Young British Artists (YBAs). In 2004, Jason Martin's work attracted great attention at the Monochrome exhibition in the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, and in 2008 the Centro Arte Contemporaneo in Málaga (CAC) and the Mönchehaus Museum in Goslar held major solo exhibitions. The following year, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice devoted a comprehensive solo show to his work.

Works by Jason Martin are part of important institutional collections including those of the Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, the CAC Málaga, the Salzburg Museum of Modern Art, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA 21) in Vienna and the Deutsche Bank.