America Martin & The Modern Still Life

Joanne Artman Gallery
Jan 17, 2019 3:08PM

Reimagining the still life tradition with fresh eyes, America Martin maintains her focus on the everyday objects that inform, inspire, and enhance ordinary existence. Challenging, transgressing, and renewing the still life genre, Martin engages with her floral subjects as a paradigmatic vehicle for the subversion of earlier artistic practices.

Delving into new approaches, materials and techniques, Martin’s intensity and passion also reflects a keen sense of the art historical lexicon. Documenting the radical evolution in treatment of space, color, form, composition, and expression of the revered still life, her reduced palette and simplification of forms provide the opportunity for a stronger focus on texture and line. Experimenting with line as a tool for two-dimensional representation of the three-dimensional, Martin takes on a new balance between solidity, weight and suggestion.

Continuously challenging her utilization of color and varied mark making, Martin evokes both smooth, bold curves as well as hard, geometric lines. Emphasizing the texture and grain of the paper or canvas, Martin explores the possibilities of the still theme. Often, the palette feels like a mood, as the colors imbue the works with a fuller spectrum of meaning.

Visually notating her surroundings, Martin’s choice to either highlight or obscure particular elements reveals personal allegorical and symbolic significance in each composition. Her flowers are given personalities and attitudes as their energetic marks and gestural lines reinvent each still life into a decisively modern, unexpected interpretation.

Martin continues the tradition of reinventing and appropriating the genre in her own artistic practice. The still life is a prominent motif in the body of work presented in her upcoming exhibition, America to Me, opening next month at JoAnne Artman Gallery’s Laguna Beach location.


America to Me: A Retrospective Featuring America Martin

Artist reception, Thursday, February 7th, from 6:00-8:00 PM

JoAnne Artman Gallery, Laguna Beach

326 N Coast Highway

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Joanne Artman Gallery