Jason Martin Gestural Ubiquity
22 February – 21 March 2014
Firmly anchored in the modernist practices of the gestural and monochrome, Jason Martin has been consistently exploring and refining his painting over the years. The meticulously choreographed movement of the brush and controlled application of paint have always conferred his work an extraordinary sculptural quality.
In an endeavour to push the boundaries towards sculpture even further, Martin's exhibition Gestural Ubiquity merged sculptural and gestural techniques in his recent works. What might look like a composition of generous, pastose swirls and rakes of creamy paint is in fact a minutely built sculpted texture. Pure pigments were projected onto these rugged landscapes accentuating mounts, streams, crevasses and plains. In the process, the organic intermingled with the inorganic, smooth surfaces acquired a more mineral texture and in some cases gave viewers the illusion of seeing a fine deposit of frost on the paintings. The emergence of forms and reliefs sometimes evoked a mysterious mountainous landscape or a storm, expressing the suggestive power of abstract painting to convene nonetheless an image in the viewer’s mind.
These new pigment paintings stood in stark contrast to Martin's oil paintings. His compositions in oil created an illusion of depth and the lines, fine as hair on a translucent background, were constantly interacting with the light, reverberating it as through a soft filter. His pigment paintings instead seemed to absorb all the light in their texture to then render an intense and mute glow, sublimating the physical experience of the material.