Jason Martin, Olympia, 2004, 244 x 366 x 10 cm
"Abstraction and illusion are not usually associated, but, as in that most sophisticated type of ancient ornament that uses plants, animals or humanfaces to make simplified, abstract patterns, the two really do meet in his [Jason Martin] work. This is the illusion that Ifind the most thrilling.. an illusion that might in turn evoke inner space, the density of a forest, the enormity of an ocean, the mystery of the night or the intensity of the sun, not to mention the music of the spheres". Norman Rosenthal
Lisson Gallery is pleased to announce a fourth solo exhibition of new paintings by Jason Martin, his first one person show at Lisson since 1999.
In this show, Martin's signature method of painting remains consistent, described by critic Nick Hackworth as "a single balletic mark-making movement, a visible trace of physical movement through space." A fusion of abstract Expressionism and Minimalism, Martin's works stand somewhere between painting and sculpture. Using layers of oil or acrylic gel on hard reflective stainless steel, aluminium or Perspex, he fashions comb-like pieces of metal or board to move the paint across the surface in one movement, often repeating it again and again until the perfect balance of paint, translucence and striation is achieved. The results are modern, dramatic and sexy. Like Pollock or De Kooning, there is emphasis on the physical action of painting; the propulsion of the artist through his work is palpable. By working in monochrome, Martin is able to particularly deepen his focus on light, form and space.
In the eponymously named group of work. Day Paintings, inspired by the symbolic landscapes of Caspar David Friedrich, Martin presents a study of light as it changes throughout the day. Beginning with Atlas, he interprets the cool, ethereal beauty of first light following it, through a series of paintings, as it finally dissolves into "moonrise". Each painting begins as an entirely zinc white surface over which he subtly layers pigment to create a "floating transparent veil of colour". Each is an 'aerial landscape' of light at different times of the day.
Martin has described his paintings as 'journeys' whereby he physically moves across the surface as he paints. Some works in this exhibition will be a departure from his earlier action paintings as he begins to rationalise the geometry of the panel itself. Intentionally avoiding the 'stream of consciousness" approach found in his apex and tondo works, these paintings are more contrived and pre-planned with a direct figurative source. Although abstract on one level, his work embraces nature and realism, on the assumption that the origins of abstraction stem from naturalism. Martin eloquently uses his own vocabulary to extend the genre with intelligence using abstraction and illusion to interpret his metaphorical landscapes in a modern world.
Born in Jersey, Channel Islands, Jason Martin lives and works in London. His solo exhibitions include: Group exhibitions include: 'Painting Language', LA Louver, CA, USA; 'A Shot in the Head', Lisson Gallery, London and 'Monochrome' at Reina Sofia, Madrid. His work is held in numerous international public collections including the Government Art Collection, UK; Denver Art Museum, USA; Hirshorn Museum, Washington, DC; Stadische Gallerie, Germany and the Museum of Modem Art, La Spezia, Italy.
For more information contact Elly Ketsea 020 7535 0806 or Miriam Amari 020 535 0807.