Constructing Line & Color - America Martin
America Martin’s figures populate a marvelous, fully realized world that the artist has continued to define and expand throughout her practice. In her recent body of work featured at JoAnne Artman Gallery’s The New Figurative, the figures retain their most basic formal qualities, while torsos, arms and feet are transformed into a geometric terrain such as in Woman and Pink Foot. Martin has always explored the elements of line in relation to the human form, though this time familiar shapes are taken to a higher, more conceptual realm. Often the lines meet in a circular point, resembling a welded joint, operating on a similar field of logic or construction as a sculpture or mobile by modern kinetic artist Alexander Calder. Such nods to art historical lexicon abound in Martin’s nods, with collages that expand upon similar concepts as Matisse’s paper cutouts as well as elements of Constructivist graphic design. A use of repetition of compositional elements such as floral components as well as angles and shapes unify the works.
As evident inWoman in Orange and Tan, Martin’s reduction of the human body approaches a new domain in relation to her use of color and line. Experimenting with line weight and function as a tool of two dimensional representation of three dimensional forms, Martin’s forms take on a new balance between solidity, weight and suggestion. Throughout Matisse’s decades-long practice, the artist continuously searched for and perfected the distillation of the elements of the human form, as well as the unification of line and color. Like the Fauves, Matisse utilized color for its expressive values, rather than representational qualities, focusing on strong, rich tones, and often utilizing wild brush work (which earned the Fauves their “Wild Beasts” nickname). While Martin similarly continuously challenges her utilization of both color and line, the artist’s relationship with both feels personal. Often the palette feels like a mood - gentle and soothing, or strong and bold, the colors imbuing the works with a fuller spectrum of meaning. In her linework, Martin evokes both the smooth, bold curves of Matisse’s figures, as well as the hard, geometric lines of the Constructivists. Laden with nuance, the smooth, bold, thick lines are filled with the bubbling energy of thin, long scrapes throughout their length - adding both intensity as well as dimension to the compositions.
Please Join us for "The New Figurative" featuring America Martin - February 8th, 2018 from 6-8pm at JoAnne Artman Gallery NYC!